My Selma: True Stories of a Southern Childhood at the Height of the Civil Rights Movement
Rather than a book about the civil rights struggle in Selma, Alabama, this is a story about a middle-class happy family and the everyday life therein. Because of the title of this book, the reader will be kept in suspense, hoping that this happy Brown family will be spared what befell so many Selma families in that city’s history. Although Dr. King makes two brief appearances in this memoir, the civil rights struggle is peripheral to the story.
At the start of the book, the writer gives lush and detailed descriptions of her setting; however, when she introduces her father, Dah, on page six, we have no idea what he — or for that matter — the rest of her family look like. It occurs to this reader that these setting descriptions contrast with the emotional overlay of segregation dominant in Alabama.
A brief word about the book’s graphics: while the cover is graced with a beautiful illustration, when that motif is carried into the chapter headings, it makes the book look dirty and used. The book is an interesting look at a good family with tight bonds in an otherwise hostile environment.