We Shall Not Be Moved: The Jackson Woolworth Sit-In and the Movement it Inspired by M.J. O’Brien is one of the 2014 Lillian Smith Book Award recipients.
The Lillian Smith Book Awards were established in 1968 by the Southern Regional Council to recognize authors whose books represent outstanding achievements demonstrating through literary merit and moral vision an honest representation of the South, its people, its problems, and its promise.
This year’s Forty-Sixth Anniversary Awards Ceremony is a partnership between the Southern Regional Council, the University of Georgia Libraries, and the Georgia Center for the Book. It will be presented in connection with the Decatur Book Festival at the DeKalb County Public Library in Decatur, Georgia on Sunday, August 31, 2015 at 2:30 p.m.
Below is a description of We Shall Not Be Moved:
Once in a great while, an image captures the essence of an era. Three people–one black, two white–sit at a lunch counter while a horde of cigarette smoking hot shots pour catsup, sugar, and other counter condiments on the sitters’ heads and down their backs. The image strikes a chord for all who lived through those turbulent times of a changing America. And for those too young to have endured that period, it evokes an era, not that long ago, when the ordinary act of getting a cup of coffee with a friend of another race could spark a riot.
We Shall Not Be Moved is a triple threat: part biography, part history, and largely just good old fashioned storytelling. The book enables the reader to get behind the iconic image of the Jackson Woolworth’s sit-in and into the hearts and minds of those participating in this harrowing event. It’s history from the bottom up. We Shall Not Be Moved tells the entire story of the Jackson Movement, which the sit-in sparked to life, and the three weeks of demonstrations that put Jackson on the front page of every major newspaper in America.
Sadly, this uprising led to severe retaliation. Two weeks after the Jackson Woolworth’s sit-in, Medgar Evers, the local leader of the movement, was assassinated. We Shall Not Be Moved chronicles this horrific event through first-person accounts of those who endured it, and then reveals how these movement figures carried on after their leader was taken down.