Civil rights history in "Our Southern Home"

Alabama's civil rights history comes to life in a new book by Birmingham native Waights Taylor Jr., “Our Southern Home: Scottsboro to Montgomery to Birmingham – The Transformation of the South in the Twentieth Century.”

The author will discuss his work on Wednesday, February 22, at 6 p.m. in the second-floor events room of the main library. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Taylor’s focus is on three Southerners, 18 years old on the fateful day of March 25, 1931: Clarence Norris, black, is boarding a freight train as a hobo in Chattanooga; Waights Taylor Sr., white, is a student at the University of Alabama; Rosa McCauley Parks, black, is a resident of Pine Level, Alabama. They didn’t know that events were about to happen in Scottsboro that would change their lives and the whole South as well.

According to Diane McWhorter, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Carry Me Home: Birmingham Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution,” Taylor “has found the intersection between his personal story and the great narrative of history, and as a result has given us a fresh and vital new perspective on the well-known sagas of the Scottsboro Boys and Rosa Parks. ‘Our Southern Home’is thoroughly researched, engagingly written, and deeply felt.”

Laura Caldwell Anderson, archivist at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, says Taylor’s “fascinating weaving of three stories into one” results in a “thoroughly engaging illustration of a region’s gradual, and ongoing, transformation.”

Taylor, now a resident of Santa Rosa, Calif., spent 24 years in the aviation industry and 22 years in management consulting before turning to writing. His first book, “Alfons Mucha’s Slav Epic: An Artist’s History of the Slavic People,” was published in 2008. “Our Southern Home” came out in October 2011.

 

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