The Other Side of Montgomery

Growing Up White in the Birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement

Title Details

Pages: 144

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in

Formats

Hardcover

Pub Date: 09/01/2009

ISBN: 9-781-6030-6055-4

List Price: $19.95

Imprint

NewSouth Books

The Other Side of Montgomery

Growing Up White in the Birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement

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  • Description
  • Reviews

In the 1950s and ’60s, Montgomery, Alabama, was ground zero for many of the major events central to the civil rights movement in this country. Yet there was also a gentler side of the city that is rarely revealed within the pages of history texts. This book takes a thought-provoking, even-handed look at those days from the perspective of a typical white kid growing up in Montgomery during that era. The end result is a greater appreciation for those times, along with a clearer insight into the city’s unique and colorful past.

The author recalls with fondness the casual neighborliness that existed within his community, the freedom that children enjoyed to roam and play, and the slower pace of life that prevailed. He recalls the popular hangouts for older teens and the legendary “Big Bam Shows” of the period.

Because he was a star athlete at Goodwyn Junior High and then at Lee High School, the author also opens a window into the years when sports competition at Montgomery’s white high schools was at its peak, when state football championships were decided at Cramton Bowl before as many as 25,000 cheering fans.

“The world was changing rapidly, but still it was such a simpler, more innocent time to grow up. How fortunate I was to have come along during that era,” he writes.

Having graduated from Lanier High School in 1958, I found Eddie Phillips’s book, The Other Side of Montgomery, to be a riveting story of changing times in Montgomery. I was transported back in time with memories of places and events that I had long forgotten. It is one of those books that I could not put down once I began to read it. Eddie has captured the "friendly" rivalry that exited between East Montgomery and South Montgomery as it was expressed most vividly in the Lee-Lanier football game. If you were raised in Montgomery in the ’50s and ’60s, this is book you should read.

—Wiley Cutts, former Lee High School principal

Of course the town changed when integration became the law, says Phillips, but for a middle-class white boy like him, the changes were just one more part of growing out of childhood into adulthood rather than the disruption described by people who were part of the civil rights struggle on one side or the other. His memoirs walk through being a little squirt, teenage culture shock, the best years of their lives, swimming in the football fishbowl, and the aftermath of integration.

—Book News, Inc.

It’s a quick and easy read and is told in a conversational manner. From reminiscing about popular hangouts, to playing youth sports in YMCA leagues, Phillips paints a picture of youth at its most innocent. Phillips’ book will be of interest to area sports fans as the author not only played football for Lee, he was the team’s star quarterback his senior year (football season of 1969). For white Montgomerians above a certain age (say, 56), The Other Side of Montgomery will probably be as familiar as memories of youth.

—Bill Rice, The Montgomery Independent

About the Author/Editor

EDDIE PHILLIPS draws upon his experiences as a lifelong resident of Montgomery, Alabama to write his book The Other Side of Montgomery. This is his second book; he previously published a collection of satirical poetry, Left for Dead in the Corner Cubicle. Eddie and his wife Teri have two children, and they are past recipients of the “Family of the Year Award” sponsored by the Montgomery Area Family Guidance Center.