Gwendolyn Patton's parents moved north from Alabama to Detroit in the Great Migration, ensuring that their children would avoid the worst that the post-Reconstruction South had to offer. As a young woman, Patton would return to Montgomery, Alabama, just in time for the civil rights movement, becoming engaged in protests and political demonstrations as a student at Tuskegee University. Shocked by the subjugation of black Americans in the South, she would participate in landmark civil rights events, such as the Selma-to-Montgomery March led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. My Race to Freedom is the story of how Patton's eyes were opened to the injustices of the Jim Crow South and how one young woman helped make equality a reality for Southern African Americans.
A complex portrait of a complex life ... exercised with dedication, principle, and an unbending devotion to justice, equality, and the well-being of all people.
—Bob Moses, civil rights movement legend and founder of the Algebra Project
Gwen Patton’s evocative memoir weaves a deeply powerful narrative rich in compelling detail. My Race to Freedom
illuminates this essential truth: a successful civil rights movement depends on the perpetual motion of the human heart and spirit.
—Ken Woodley, author of The Road to Healing: A Civil Rights Reparations Story in Prince Edward County, Virginia
My Race to Freedom
joins the canon of Black women’s movement autobiographies … Such accounts are needed to demystify the struggle and widen our conceptions of movement heroines.