Gifts Given: Family, Community, and Integration’S Move from the Courtroom to the Schoolyard

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iUniverse, Jan 12, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 348 pages

On August 27, 1956 in Clinton, Tennessee, twelve African American students made history when they were the first to walk through the doors of a legally desegregated high school. On that day, integration in the South formally moved from the courtroom to the classroom.

Author Doug Davis was a frontline witness to history. His mother was an English teacher at the high school, and his father was a lawyer in the initial court case. Although school opened with minimal disruption, the first week ended with tanks rolling into town to keep order. Later, when the parents of the black students were reluctant to send their children to school, the authors father was one of three who escorted the students through a gauntlet of angry racists that had gathered in protest. Davis was just eight when this happened, and the memories of those tense days were the inspiration for this story.

The conflict followed the family home and included the burning of a cross in their front yard. The family members were eyewitnesses to their hometowns turmoil, conflict that escalated from riots and protests, culminating in the destruction of the high school with one hundred sticks of dynamite. Th e people of this ruptured community bore the brunt of this momentous era of societal change in America. Here, childhood memories of family and community shed their light on the story.

 

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A very personal account of an extraordinary time in America written by the youngest son of a family that prides itself on its characters and whose characters have inspired many other of us characters; a noted jazz pianist, composer and teacher, he manages to paint this time only with lyrical prose and some arresting old photos - R.B.Wolf 

Contents

The blast that launched this ship 19511962 the back story begins plus a glance at 1935 and 2006
1
Crime to start then the tale of Buster and Anne 2006 then Davises from 19001960
20
Death and damage near miss and salvation 1942 to 1958 Long loss and Clinton arrival
26
Green McAdoo Edward R Murrow and Eleanor 19561959
37
Dad starts law school Dougs 2nd grade 1940 then 19541957
43
Sid Jr in the field and my parents in college 1951 then 19361938
48
Igloo to start then wedding war and plannedparenthood 1957 then 19401945
53
Postwar Clinton with newborn toddler and apavasifiddity 19461949
62
The challenge and busting a move 19591960
195
Parties Westerns and Work 1960
200
Sids baseball ROTC and the wild card 1960
203
Neighborhood Olympics and new moves 1955 1960
207
Harrys Human web Holtsinger and Hopson 19601961
212
Harrys ready attack my lack and Mothers courage 19561960
217
Marriage friends and community 1950s
220
Eleanors grand vision and chemical storms 19301960
224

I arrive Dad takes his shot 19481950
67
Cute beyond memory trampolines and attempted brain damage before 1955 then a peek at 1964
71
Only parents remember then wedding and the appearance of youth 1955 then 1961
74
Carlson and Burpo cousins postwreck then golf without a Sherpa 196066 1955
80
Yard and charred 19571958
85
Bathing with Presidents let the games begin 1957
90
Piano music and a duet for the ages 19301961
96
Males and development baseball and Britannica 1957
100
Sleepover and scoreboard 19561957
105
Saturday Dads curios and Québec 1957
110
Kasper on trial food and football 19561958
120
Disease comics and holiday damage 1958
127
Age inversion Uncle John Moms cataract Annes tobacco and Isaiah speaks 19101964
132
Scene stealing and dungeon mayhem 1949 19591960
141
Urgency intrudes then growth hormones 1956 or 1958
145
Skill acquisition and dynamite 1958 plus 19391945
151
Cockeyed optimist and growth pains 19551961
160
Family routines and Bball 1959
169
Tournament ball and diabetes 1959
175
Cotillion and chasin rabbits 1959
179
Politics and KKK 19101971
182
Fiefdoms 1960
187
Brains and brawn St Louis and forgiveness 1960
192
Stunning shape a bit of comic relief 19581961
228
Sid to Harvard the Math and Spanish encounter 19601961
231
Freshman basketball and the miracle worker 19601961
234
Little League baseballs perfect replica Summer 1961
238
Allstar status Clinton to Athens Summer 1961
243
Terrible things and the need for forgiveness 1958
249
Armory and football Fall 1961
253
Boxing and 2nd team discoveries 19611962
258
Focus expands and piano ends 19611962
264
Dad from law to scifi then a medical shift 1961
267
Sanity set aside 2010
271
Square dancing? Singing Spring 1962
273
Centerstage and the threat Spring 1962
276
The spawning of a garage band Spring 1962
280
Clintons conscience and a narrowing of focus 19561964
285
Second year second team New Testament and Mothers clarification 19611962
291
Sids return Dougs valedictory and Dads final word Spring 1962
297
Epilogue
307
Final Acknowledgements
309
Clinton Tennessees Integration Story
311
Authors Index Immediate Family
313
Authors Index
317
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About the author (2012)

Doug Davis graduated summa cum laude and Phi Kappa Phi from the University of Tennessee before earning his PhD from Harvard University. He is an internationally respected musician and composer, as well as a music professor at California State University Bakersfield and the director of the Bakersfield Jazz Festival, Legends of Jazz series, and the CSUB Guest Composers series.

Website: www.dougdavismusic.net

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