The Courage to Hope: How I Stood Up to the Politics of Fear

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Simon and Schuster, Aug 28, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
In the summer of 2010, Shirley Sherrod was catapulted into a media storm that blew apart her life and her job doing what she’d done for decades: helping poor, hardworking people live the American dream. She was a lifelong activist who served as Georgia’s first black director of rural development.

A right-wing blogger, the now late Andrew Breitbart, disseminated a video clip of a speech Sherrod had given to the Georgia NAACP, intending to make her an example of “reverse racism.” The right-wing media ramped up the outrage, and before Sherrod had a chance to defend herself, the Obama administration demanded her resignation. Then, after hearing from Sherrod herself and learning the entire truth of what she said in that speech, the administration tried to backtrack. As public officials and media professionals admitted to being duped and apologized for their rush to judgment, Sherrod found herself the subject of a teachable moment.

The Courage to Hope addresses this regret-table episode in American politics, but it also tells Sherrod’s own story of growing up on a farm in southwest Georgia during the final violent years of Jim Crow. As a child she dreamed of leaving the South, but when her father was murdered by a white neighbor who was never brought to justice, Sherrod made a vow to stay in Georgia and commit herself to the cause of truth and racial healing. With her husband, Charles, a legend in the civil rights movement, she has devoted her life to empowering poor people and rural communities—Americans who are most in need.

The incident that brought Sherrod into the spotlight does not define her life and work, but it strengthens her commitment to stand against the politics of fear and have the courage to hope.

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THE COURAGE TO HOPE: How I Stood Up to the Politics of Fear

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Sherrod sets the record straight on her forced resignation from the Department of Agriculture in 2010.The author, now nationally known as a speaker on empowerment strategies, was director for the USDA ... Read full review


The White House Wants You Out Chapter 2 Truth to Power Chapter 3 Freedoms Whisper
My Fathers Dream
Sheriff Gators Law
Love in a Land of Hate
At Work in the Fields
Saving Farmers
At Home in the World
A Place at the Table
Walking into the Light
Planting Hope
The Speech

Joining Obamas Team

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About the author (2012)

Shirley Sherrod lectures nationally on issues of importance to middle class families, the poor, and small communities. She promotes empowerment strategies for economically and socially disadvantaged people and runs educational projects for struggling farmers. She lives in Georgia with her husband.

Catherine Whitney has coauthored more than fifty books on legal, political, and social issues, including Where Have All the Leaders Gone? and The Weekend That Changed Wall Street. She lives in New York.

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