Blackwell North Amer Richard A. Couto sheds new light on the history of the civil rights movement by rooting it in the events of one place, Haywood County, Tennessee, and in the lives of four generations of African Americans who lived there, from Reconstruction to the present. Despite the modest coverage of Haywood County in other studies, few places express the issues of the civil rights movement in the rural South more clearly. Typical of most southern rural areas, Haywood County's African-American population had survived slavery only to become enmeshed in a legacy of sharecropping and poverty perpetuated by political and economic repression, including the earliest manifestations of the Ku Klux Klan. Couto tells the story of the continuing efforts of those who were brave enough to protest racial repression and subordination. Their stories express in microcosm the past and present experiences of hundreds of thousands of African Americans across the South to achieve full emancipation. Using narrative accounts and archival materials, Couto follows events and families in Haywood County, presenting stories of achievements, setbacks, and courage as beacons of hope for all who struggle for political and social liberation.