Steve Fiffer Collaborates With Civil Rights Activist, C.T. Vivian, on Vivian's Memoir

Steve Fiffer Collaborates With Civil Rights Activist, C.T. Vivian, on Vivian’s Memoir

March 9, 2021 in Notes, Publications

STEVE FIFFER (TD) reports on the publication of a book:
“I hope you and yours are doing well. I’d like to report that after collaborating with, among others, Southern Poverty Law Center founder Morris Dees and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III on their autobiographies (as well as writing my own memoir), I recently had the honor of collaborating with the late civil rights icon Dr. C.T. Vivian on his memoir, ‘It’s In the Action.’ Publication Date: March 9. My wife Sharon and I continue to live in Evanston, IL, and have missed our three children and six grandchildren dearly during the pandemic. Thanks.”
Montgomery, Ala.: Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient C.T. Vivian worked hand in hand with the civil right movement’s most significant figures, including Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis. His contributions were every bit as vital to its success. It’s in the Action: Memories of a Nonviolent Warrior, Vivian’s long-awaited memoir, chronicles his life of principle and nonviolent resistance. Written with Steve Fiffer, it is slated for release by NewSouth Books on March 9, 2021. Andrew Young has contributed the book foreword.
C. T. Vivian’s life was never defined by the discrimination and hardship he faced, though he endured many instances of both. Instead, he focused on his faith in God and steadfast belief in nonviolence, living these principles
through his work organizing the first sit-ins in Nashville, as a Freedom Rider, and in a leadership role with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He played key roles in integration and voting rights efforts in Birmingham, St. Augustine, and Selma. Later, he conceived of an organization that helped put African American students in college, which became Upward Bound. In the 1970s, Vivian founded Black Action Strategies and Information (BASIC); cofounded the Center for Democratic Renewal; and served in Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign. In 2008, Vivian founded the C. T. Vivian Leadership Institute (CTVLI) to “create a model leadership culture in Atlanta, Georgia.” He was a popular public speaker at civil rights and educational conferences around the world.
It’s in the Action tells C.T. Vivian’s inspiring story for the first time. In the memoir,
Rev. Vivian poignantly reflects on his lifetime of nonviolent activism and dedication to fighting social injustice, which won for him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented by President Barack Obama in 2013. With publication of It’s in the Action, C.T. Vivian’s voice and stunning achievements are preserved to inspire a new generation of activists and readers of our American history.
Born in Missouri in 1924, C. T. Vivan lived in Illinois before moving to Nashville, where he earned a degree in theology and joined John Lewis, Diane Nash, and others to integrate the city in 1960, beginning a lifetime of activism. He passed away peacefully in Atlanta on July 17, 2020.
Steve Fiffer is an author and community activist whose distinguished career includes collaborations with the likes of Dr. Quentin Young, personal doctor to Martin Luther King Jr.; Robert Jordan, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia; and James A. Baker, former U.S. Secretary of State. He is the co-author of Jimmie Lee and James: Two Lives, Two Deaths, and the Movement that Changed America, a Harlem Book Fair nonfiction finalist. He is also the co-writer of Southern Poverty Law Center co-founder Morris Dees’s two award-winning memoirs, A Season for Justice and Hate on Trial. He currently serves on the advisory board of the Civic Leadership Foundation in Chicago, a nonprofit that serves underprivileged youth.
It’s in the Action will be available in March 2021 through your favorite local or online retailer. Retailers, contact Ingram Publisher Services (IPS) at 866-400-5351 or email at, or order via Trade Paper; ISBN: 978-1-58838-441-6; 224 pages; $25.95. ebook ISBN: 978-1-58838-442-3. For more information:
“C. T. Vivian was a giant of the enduring American struggle for equality and for justice. Illuminating and inspiring, his story is like his life: bold, principled, passionate, and transformative.”
— Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of His Truth is Marching On, The Soul of America, and other books
“C. T. Vivian was a role model for so many of us in the 1960s era of civil rights activism, a legendary champion of nonviolence and a mighty and indispensable long-haul moral warrior for justice. This memoir gives a new generation the chance to learn about his legacy of wisdom and service in his own words.”
— Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president emerita, Children’s Defense Fund
“We as students in the Nashville movement felt more mature when Dr. C. T. Vivian was with us. I know what it is like to have your teacher in a jail cell with you for twenty-four hours. You never miss class.”
— Bernard LaFayette, civil rights activist, author of In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma
“This first memoir by C. T. Vivian, published posthumously, fairly sparkles with his humanity. It preserves the rich legacy of his life and achievements spanning decades, offering lessons about the value of courage and compassion and coming together. This is a story our next generation of civil rights activists can build on. A beautiful and important work.”
— Morris Dees, founder, The Southern Poverty Law Center

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