30 Days a Black Man (Hardcover)
The Forgotten Story That Exposed the Jim Crow South
Lyons Press, 9781493026180, 336pp.
Publication Date: June 1, 2017
List Price: 26.95*
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The dangerous, trailblazing work of a white journalist and black leader who struck a shocking early blow against legal segregation In 1948, most white people in the North had no idea how unjust and unequal daily life was for 10 million African Americans living in the Jim Crow South. Then, Ray Sprigle, a famous white journalist from Pittsburgh, went undercover and alongside Atlanta's black civil rights pioneer John Wesley Dobbs lived as a black man in the South for thirty days. His impassioned newspaper series shocked millions and sparked the first nationally aired television-and-radio debate about ending America's shameful system of apartheid. Author Bill Steigerwald returns this long-forgotten part of American history to its rightful place among the seminal events of the Civil Rights movement. For 30 days and 3,000 miles, Sprigle and Dobbs traveled among dirt-poor sharecroppers, principals of ramshackle black schools, and families of lynching victims. The nationally syndicated newspaper series hit the media like an atom bomb, eliciting a fierce response from the Southern media. Six years before Brown v. Board of Education, seven years before the murder of Emmett Till, eight years before Little Rock's Central High School was integrated, and thirteen years before John Howard Griffin's similar experiment became the bestselling Black Like Me, an unlikely pair of heroes brought black lives to the forefront of American consciousness.
About the Author
Bill Steigerwald's thirty-six-year career as a journalist included stints with the Los Angeles Times, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. At the Trib he was an associate editor, feature writer, book page editor/writer, editorial writer, weekly op-ed columnist and weekly interviewer of important newsmakers. His work has appeared in dozens of major American papers and in magazines as disparate as Reason, Family Circle, Men's Journal, and Penthouse. He lives just outside of Pittsburgh.