It's in the Action

Memories of a Nonviolent Warrior

C. T. Vivian and Steve Fiffer

Foreword by Andrew Young

Title Details

Pages: 208

Illustrations: 20 b&w photos

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in

Formats

Hardcover

Pub Date: 03/16/2021

ISBN: 9-781-5883-8441-6

List Price: $25.95

It's in the Action

Memories of a Nonviolent Warrior

C. T. Vivian and Steve Fiffer

Foreword by Andrew Young

Skip to

  • Description
  • Reviews

The wisdom acquired during C. T. Vivian's nine decades is generously shared in It's in the Action, the civil rights legend's memoir of his life and times in the movement. Born in Missouri in 1924, Vivian lived twenty-four years in Illinois before moving to Nashville, where he earned a degree in theology and joined John Lewis, Diane Nash, and others to integrate the city in 1960. After being imprisoned and beaten during the Freedom Rides, he joined Dr. King at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta and played leading roles in integration and voting rights campaigns in Birmingham, St. Augustine, and Selma. Over the next half century, he became internationally known for his work for education and civil and human rights and against racism, hatred, and economic inequality. In 2013, Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Vivian passed away peacefully in Atlanta on July 17, 2020.

Vivian was never defined by discrimination and hardship, although he faced many instances of both. The late civil rights leader's heart-wrenching and inspiring stories from a lifetime of nonviolent activism come just in time for a new generation of activists, similarly responding to systems of injustice, violence, and oppression. It's in the Action is a record of a life dedicated to selflessness and morality, qualities achieved by Vivian that we can all aspire to. Bearing a foreword from Andrew Young, the memoir is an important addition to civil rights history and to the understanding of movement principles and strategies.

This first memoir by C. T. Vivian, published posthumously, fairly sparkles with his humanity. It preserves the rich legacy of his life and achievements spanning decades, offering lessons about the value of courage and compassion and coming together. This is a story our next generation of civil rights activists can build on. A beautiful and important work.

—Morris Dees, founder, Southern Poverty Law Center

C. T. Vivian was a role model for so many of us in the 1960s era of civil rights activism, a legendary champion of nonviolence and a mighty and indispensable long-haul moral warrior for justice. This memoir gives a new generation the chance to learn about his legacy of wisdom and service in his own words.

—Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president emerita, Children's Defense Fund

C. T. Vivian was a giant of the enduring American struggle for equality and for justice. Illuminating and inspiring, his story is like his life: bold, principled, passionate, and transformative.

—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of His Truth Is Marching On, The Soul of America, and other books

A valuable addition to the historical record ... an inspiring story of dedication and leadership.

—Kirkus Reviews

We as students in the Nashville movement felt more mature when Dr. C. T. Vivian was with us. I know what it is like to have your teacher in a jail cell with you for twenty-four hours. You never miss class.

—Bernard LaFayette, civil rights activist, author of In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma

About the Author/Editor

C. T. Vivian (Author)
C. T. VIVIAN (1924-2020), called "the greatest preacher who ever lived" by Dr. Martin Luther King, was an iconic civil rights leader known for his strong principle of nonviolent action. Born in Missouri in 1924, Vivian briefly lived in Illinois before moving to Nashville, where he attained a degree in theology and joined John Lewis, Diane Nash, and others to integrate the city in 1960. After being imprisoned and beaten during the Freedom Rides, he joined Dr. King at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and played leading roles in integration and voting rights efforts in Birmingham, St. Augustine, and Selma. C. T. Vivian was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013 by President Barack Obama.

Steve Fiffer (Author)
STEVE FIFFER most recently collaborated with civil rights icon Dr. C. T. Vivian on his memoir, It's in the Action: Memories of a Nonviolent Warrior. He also collaborated with Southern Poverty Law Center cofounder Morris Dees on two award-winning memoirs. He is the coauthor of Jimmie Lee and James: Two Lives, Two Deaths, and the Movement That Changed America and, with his wife Sharon, he wrote 50 Ways to Help Your Community: A Handbook for Change. He currently lives in Evanston, Illinois with his wife Sharon, a novelist and serves on the advisory board of the Chicago-based Civic Leadership Foundation.