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Water tossing boulders: how a family of Chinese immigrants led the first fight to desegregate schools in the Jim Crow South

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A generation before Brown v. Board of Education struck down America's "separate but equal" doctrine, one Chinese family and an eccentric Mississippi lawyer fought for desegregation in one of the greatest legal battles never told. On September 15, 1924, Martha Lum and her older sister Berda were barred from attending middle school in Rosedale, Mississippi. The girls were Chinese American and considered by the school to be "colored"; the school was for whites. This event would lead to the first US Supreme Court case to challenge the constitutionality of racial segregation in Southern public schools, an astonishing thirty years before the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. Unearthing one of the greatest stories never told, journalist Adrienne Berard recounts how three unlikely heroes sought to shape a new South. A poor immigrant from southern China, Jeu Gong Lum came to America with the hope of a better future for his family. Unassuming yet boldly determined, his daughter Martha would inhabit that future and become the face of the fight to integrate schools. Earl Brewer, their lawyer and staunch ally, was once a millionaire and governor of Mississippi. When he took the family's case, Brewer was both bankrupt and a political pariah--a man with nothing left to lose. By confronting the "separate but equal" doctrine, the Lum family fought for the right to educate Chinese Americans in the white schools of the Jim Crow South. Using their groundbreaking lawsuit as a compass, Berard depicts the complicated condition of racial otherness in rural Southern society. In a sweeping narrative that is both epic and intimate, Water Tossing Boulders evokes a time and place previously defined by black and white, a time and place that, until now, has never been viewed through the eyes of a forgotten third race. In vivid prose, the Mississippi Delta, an empire of cotton and a bastion of slavery, is reimagined to reveal the experiences of a lost immigrant community. Through extensive research in historical documents and family correspondence, Berard illuminates a vital, forgotten chapter of America's past and uncovers the powerful journey of an oppressed people in their struggle for equality.
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ISBN:
9780807033531
9780807098516
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Grouped Work ID cda29baa-d6d3-e205-c2f9-c6339d9de9be
Grouping Title water tossing boulders how a family of chinese immigrants led the first fight to desegregate schools
Grouping Author berard adrienne
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-07-19 23:26:08PM
Last Indexed 2018-07-20 00:24:34AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level
accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Adrienne Berard
author_display Berard, Adrienne
available_at_school MLK Jr. Magnet
collection_school Non-Fiction
detailed_location_school MLK Jr. Magnet - Teen Non-Fiction
display_description "... journalist Adrienne Berard recounts how three unlikely heroes sought to shape a new South. A poor immigrant from southern China, Jeu Gong Lum came to America with the hope of a better future for his family. Unassuming yet boldly determined, his daughter Martha would inhabit that future and become the face of the fight to integrate schools. Earl Brewer, their lawyer and staunch ally, was once a millionaire and governor of Mississippi. When he took the family's case, Brewer was both bankrupt and a political pariah--a man with nothing left to lose ..."--Jacket flap.
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isbn 9780807033531, 9780807098516
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lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_school 344.73 BER
owning_library_school Schools
owning_location_school MLK Jr. Magnet
primary_isbn 9780807033531
publishDate 2016
record_details ils:CARL0000677841|Book|Books||English|Beacon Press,|[2016]|xiii, 194 p. : ill. ; 24 cm., overdrive:777cb553-ba43-4342-95b6-d129280bcd4b|eAudiobook|Audio Books||English|Beacon Press|2016|
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scoping_details_school
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overdrive:777cb553-ba43-4342-95b6-d129280bcd4b -1 Available Online Available Online false true true false false false
subject_facet Chinese Americans -- Civil rights -- Louisiana -- Mississippi River Delta -- History -- 20th century, Lum, Martha, -- Trials, litigation, etc, Rosedale (Miss.) -- Trials, litigation, etc, Segregation in education -- Law and legislation -- Louisiana -- Mississippi River Delta -- History -- 20th century
title_display Water tossing boulders : how a family of Chinese immigrants led the first fight to desegregate schools in the Jim Crow South
title_full Water Tossing Boulders How a Family of Chinese Immigrants Led the First Fight to Desegregate Schools in the Jim Crow South, Water tossing boulders : how a family of Chinese immigrants led the first fight to desegregate schools in the Jim Crow South / Adrienne Berard
title_short Water tossing boulders :
title_sub how a family of Chinese immigrants led the first fight to desegregate schools in the Jim Crow South
topic_facet Chinese Americans, Civil rights, History, Law and legislation, Lum, Martha, Nonfiction, Segregation in education, Sociology, Trials, litigation, etc