BCALA Literary Award Winner - 2004 (Fiction; Sponsored by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association)
Patricia Stephens Due fought for justice during the height of the Civil Rights era, surrendering her freedom to ensure that the rights of others might someday be protected.Patricia's daughter, Tananarive, grew up deeply enmeshed in the values of a family committed to making right whatever they saw as wrong. Together, they have written a paean to the movement—its struggles, its nameless foot-soldiers, and its achievements—and an incisive examination of the future of justice in this country.
In 1960, when she was a student at Florida A&M University, Patricia and her sister Priscilla were part of the movement’s landmark “jail-in,” the first time during the student sit-in movement when protestors served their time rather than paying a fine. She and her sister, and three FAMU students, spent forty-nine days behind bars rather than pay for the “crime” of sitting at a Woolworth lunch counter. Thus began a lifelong commitment to human rights. Patricia and her husband, civil rights lawyer John Due, worked tirelessly with many of the movement’s greatest figures throughout the sixties to bring about change, particularly in the Deep Southern state of Florida.
Freedom in the Family chronicles these years with historical accuracy and compelling narrative. Featuring interviews with civil rights leaders like Black Panther Stokely Carmichael (later known as Kwame Ture) and ordinary citizens whose heroism has been largely unknown, this is a sweeping, multivoiced account of the battle for civil rights in America. It also reveals those leaders’ potentially controversial feelings about the current state of America, a country where police brutality and crippling disparities for blacks and whites in health care, education, employment, and criminal justice continue to plague the Black community.
Of interest to students of African-American Studies, Civil Rights, and Women's Studies.
“Freedom in the Family is American history, written by those who lived it. Tense, human, inspirational, and all true, a testament to character and endurance by women who took active roles in the dramatic events that forever changed the face of this nation.”
–EDNA BUCHANAN, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Corpse Had a Familiar Face and The Ice Maiden
“An ennobling insider’s look at the civil rights movement. Patricia and Tananarive Due are two of my new heroes.”
–CHARLES JOHNSON, National Book Award-winning author of Middle Passage
Tananarive Due is a former features writer for the Miami Herald. She has written many highly acclaimed novels, including The Black Rose and My Soul to Keep. She received a 2002 American Book Award for her novel The Living Blood. Ms. Due makes her home in Longview, Washington, with her husband, novelist Steven Barnes.
Patricia Stephens Due was a civil rights activist with CORE while attending Florida A&M University. In 1960, based on her nonviolent stand during a landmark “jail-in,” she received the prestigious Gandhi Award. She is married to a civil rights lawyer, has three daughters, and continues to work for change in America. Over the years, she has conducted civil rights workshops and re-enactments for colleges, public schools, civic groups, and churches. She lives in Miami, Florida, with her husband, John Due.