Ruby Doris Smith Robinson Book Review

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Cynthia G. Fleming, Soon We Will Not Cry: The Liberation of Ruby Doris Smith Robinson. Lanham: Rowman and Little, Inc., 2006. Paperback $18.95.

During the Civil Rights Movement, there were many participants. Such participants were women. Mrs. Ruby Doris Smith Robinson was one of those college students, who after couple year in the movement left a legacy of excellence, courage, and leadership. In Cynthia Griggs Fleming’s Soon We Will Not Cry: The Liberation of Ruby Doris Smith Robinson, Flemings examines the personal life and the civil rights activist life of Ruby Doris Smith Robinson. She also looks into how Ruby Doris Smith Robinson involvement in the civil rights movement made a great impact on not only for the movement, but for people involved in the movement as well.

Professor of History at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Dr. Cynthia Griggs Fleming is qualified author of this literature. Her specialties are in twentieth century United States Cultural and Social History particularly in the modern civil rights movement, race relations, and black educational history. She teaches a survey course in African Americans studies, as well as course in a course in Black in Film, History and Philosophy of African American Education, African American Women in American Society, and Civil Rights course. Cynthia Flemings have written heavily on the civil right movement. Not only did this she write this book, but has published articles on black activism and African American identity in journal such as The Journal of Negro History, The Tennessee Historical Quarterly, The Journal of Woman’s History, and The Irish Journal of American History. Dr. Fleming also is writing the authorized biography of C.T. Vivian and the impact of civil rights movement on the Alabama Black Belt County.Cynthia Griggs Fleming’s academic and scholastic background does not affect her analysis in this literary work. With her expertise in the history of the modern civil rights movement, this gives her a better understand of who the key players of the movement and the roles that they play. Also, Fleming’s background in women studies make her analysis even a more creditable because focuses on women in the Civil Rights Movement.

The audience Fleming’s is trying reach are people who have interest in the modern Civil Rights Movement, but want to know about someone else beside the main people associated the movement. Another audience will be people who interested and/or studying women studies particularly black women. Individuals into African American studies can be draw to this book as well. Lastly, persons of high school aged and older who are looking at United States history in the 1960s and it major figures of the time period Fleming’s is speaking to.

Fleming proves her thesis by using Robinson life story throughout the book. From research from the archive and other literary sources, interviews from family, friends, and member from Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and other civil rights groups, help paint image of who Ruby Doris Smith Robinson really was person and as an activist. Each chapter as they paint her life, painted the time period. For example, in chapter three it talks about her days at Spelman College and how she got involved in with the civil rights movement. There was contrast between how Spelman wanted their student to be to new generation of women coming to Spelman during that time period. In the chapter, states "… Spelman was determined that students should act like “ladies.”’ Morehouse President Dr. Benjamin Mays stated at Spelman College Founders Day that “But over and above business, politics, and the professions, Spelman women will be called upon to be wives, mothers and homemakers…” The chapter goes to say that while Ruby attend Spelman “She was a Spelman woman…but she was not the quintessential Spelman woman…she was not the ladylike kind.” Those passages and many other help set the foundation of what Ruby...
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