NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— A new book tells the story of the civil rights movement through the eyes of a father and son.
David Dennis Sr. is a civil rights icon, who got involved in the movement as a student at Dillard University, and his son David Jr. is an accomplished writer who started his career here in New Orleans. They’ve collaborated on a brilliant effort called ‘How the Movement Made Us.’
According to Dennis Jr., “This book is a lot a bout community building, right here in New Orleans, New Orleans CORE is a community of young folks who came together and build with each other and did something that affected this country. We’re in Studio Be and this is a community space and I hope that people see the connection between the two, between the folks back then and the people now and it’s all about building with the people who are around you.”
The Movement Made Us in an ode to the senior Dennis’ work, starting in the early 60’s civil rights movement. From Freedom Rides to Freedom Summer in Mississippi, Senior’s seat at the the historic table is unquestioned but he recalled one of the more his more memorable moments here in New Orleans.
“And so I’m arrested. And so I’m upset with them because you’re not supposed to arrest me and blah, blah, blah, So I get put in jail for trespassing and resisting arrest and I spent a week in jail and that to me was the most dramatic because it was the beginning of 30 something arrests in the movement,” said Dennis Sr.
And while the novel recalls a number of import historical facts and recognizes important people, the hope is that the reader understands that the liberation march continues. And on this ride there is a role for everyone.
“I want people to walk away from this book feeling like anything is possible. I want them to understand that this book is about a lot of kids who really changed the course of this country and who were the most set upon, the people who faced insurmountable odds, and they rose up and affected change. And I think that what’s important is that everybody can see that if they do something, you can be a part of it too,” said Dennis Jr.
The Movement Made Us is available wherever you buy books.