The Hands of Peace: A Holocaust Survivor's Fight for Civil Rights in the American South

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Born in Hamburg in the 1930s, Marione Ingram survived the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, only to find when she came to the United States that racism was as pervasive in the American South as anti-Semitism was in Europe. Moving first to New York and then to Washington, DC, Marione joined the burgeoning civil rights movement, protesting discrimination in housing, employment, education, and other aspects of life in the nation's capital, including the denial of voting rights. She was a volunteer in the legendary March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his iconic I Have a Dream speech, and she was an organizer of an extended sit-in to support the Mississippi Freedom Party. In 1964, at the urging of civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer, Marione went south to Mississippi. There, she worked for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and taught African American youth at one of the country's controversial freedom schools. With her boldness came threats--white supremacists made ominous calls and left a blazing cross in front of her school--and an arrest and conviction. She narrowly escaped a three-month prison sentence. As a white woman and a Holocaust escapee, Marione was perhaps the most unlikely of heroes in the American civil rights movement; and yet, her core belief in the equality of all people, regardless of race or religion, did not waver and she refused to be quieted, refused to accept bigotry. This empowering, true story offers a rare up close view of the civil rights movement. It is a story of conviction and courage--a reminder of how far the rights movement has come and the progress that still needs to be made.