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The Courage to Hope

The Courage to Hope

How I Stood Up to the Politics of Fear

Sherrod was a lifelong activist who served as Georgia’s first black director of rural development. In the summer of 2010, a right-wing blogger disseminated an ill- conceived video clip of a speech Sherrod had given to the Georgia NAACP, intending to make her an example of “reverse racism.” The media frenzy that ensued caused the Obama administration to demand her resignation. After hearing from Sherrod herself and learning the entire truth of what she said in that speech, the administration tried to backtrack. Public officials and media professionals admitted to being duped and apologized for their rush to judgment. Ultimately, Sherrod found herself the subject of a teachable moment. The Courage to Hope addresses this regrettable moment 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.
Choose a format:
  • Atria Books | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451651010 | 
  • July 2013
List Price $16.00
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Read an Excerpt


“The White House Wants You Out”

Interstate 75 cuts a jagged path down the center of Georgia, a busy highway where caravans of massive trucks haul their loads through the South day and night. I had driven that highway hundreds of times, traveling to Athens, where my office was, or to Atlanta. In my role as Georgia state director of rural development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), I logged many hours of driving every week.

My practice was to spend Monday through Friday in the field and return to my home in Albany, in the southwest corner of the state, for the weekend. I... see more

About the Author

Shirley Sherrod

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.




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