In Brief: A Quaker Behind the Dream: Charlie Walker and the Civil Rights Movement (Volume I, 1920–1955)

By Brenda Walker Beadenkopf. EA Books, 2019. 322 pages. $20/paperback; $9.50/eBook.

The stories continue, this time by a loving daughter who recounts her father’s role in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement of the twentieth century. This first volume covers 1920 to 1955; we can expect another volume to cover later years.

It is a huge job, but Beadenkopf is a journalist by trade, and so she responded to her mother’s—and to God’s—nudges to undertake the task of telling her father’s story in the early part of the Civil Rights Movement, helping to shape its nonviolent identity, which she calls “the teachings of Jesus in a practical form.”

Fortunately, Charlie Walker amassed a large amount of artifacts—newspaper articles, taped speeches, and the like—that his daughter now has as source material. As with Quaker civil rights leader and organizer Bayard Rustin, who was acquainted with Walker, the story of those times becomes richer as we hear about more of the people who dedicated themselves to the struggle, often finding fulfilment and serving as role models. Charlie Walker is one such.

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