Books: Non-Fiction

Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights

Book – Non-fiction. by Tananarive Due and Patricia Stephens Due. 2003. 416 pages.
An unforgettable story of a mother-daughter journey spanning two generations of Civil Rights struggles.

Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements

Patricia Stephens Due fought for justice during the height of the Civil Rights era. Her daughter, Tananarive, grew up deeply enmeshed in the values of a family committed to making right whatever they saw as wrong.

Together, in alternating chapters, they have written Freedom in the Family, a paean to the movement—its hardships, its nameless foot soldiers, and its achievements—and an incisive examination of the future of justice in this country.

Their mother-daughter journey spanning two generations of struggles is an unforgettable story. [Publisher’s description.]

ISBN: 9780345447340 | Published by One World

Affecting… This is a must-read for those who want to know how movement is made and sustained. — Julian Bond, chairman, NAACP

Patricia Stephens Due, foreground in black dress, picketing with others at the State Theatre in Tallahassee. May 29, 1963. Source: Florida Memory

Watch a discussion of the book by the authors on C-Span Book TV in 2003.

On February 20, 1960, Patricia Stephens Due was fined and arrested for sitting at a whites-only lunch counter at Woolworth’s in Tallahassee, Florida.

Paul Ortiz, director of the University of Florida Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, stated that Due’s refusal to post bail:

gave the civil rights movement a new tactic in the struggle for equality. It was a tactical breakthrough that filled the jails and put pressure on the government.