Coming Soon!
The Civil Rights Movement
Facts and Fictions
by David G. Holmes
April 2024, 237pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7132-0
$65, £50, 57€, A90
Available for purchase 30 days prior to publication.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7133-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Approximately one year before he was assassinated, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. remarked that his dream had become a nightmare.

This book explores various historical misconceptions related to the civil rights movement, with each chapter discussing how a particular misconception developed and spread and what we now believe to be the truth behind the myth.

Largely identified with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights movement continues to have a lasting impact on American politics and society. Though focused on African Americans, it helped make possible later protests by other groups. As one of the most important movements in modern U.S. history, it has been at the center of a number of historical misconceptions. This book examines some mistaken ideas about the civil rights movement and the truths behind the myths.

Each chapter is devoted to a particular historical misconception about the civil rights movement, such as the belief that Southern whites were not civil rights activists or that the movement ended with King. Chapters discuss how the misconception developed and spread, along with what we now believe to be the historical truth and why. Quotations from primary sources provide evidence for the historical facts and fictions, and a selected, general bibliography directs readers to additional sources of information.


  • Chapters individually discuss misconceptions related to the civil rights movement
  • Each chapter considers how a historical misconception developed and spread, along with what we now believe to be the truth behind the myth
  • Quotations from primary source documents provide evidence for the mistaken beliefs and the historical truths
  • A selected, general bibliography directs users to additional resources
David G. Holmes, PhD, is associate dean and professor of English and rhetoric at Pepperdine University, Seaver College. For the past 15 years, his teaching, research, and public presentations have focused on the civil rights movement. His previous books include Where the Sacred and Secular Harmonize: Birmingham Mass Meeting Rhetoric and the Prophetic Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement.

Historical Facts and Fictions

Did Nero really fiddle while Rome burned? Did the Egyptians really worship animals and gods with animal heads? History is full of misconceptions that have been passed down as historical facts and become rooted in the popular imagination. This series explores historical fictions and what we now believe to be historical truths. Each book focuses on a particular topic, such as a period, event, civilization, movement, religion, or person, and explores roughly 10 misconceptions. Chapters summarize the misconception, discuss how it arose and was propagated, and explain what is now taken as historical fact. The series helps readers think critically about the past and prepares them to be equally critical of the present.
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.