Chappell chronicles the difficulties the movement encountered while working to build coalitions, pass legislation, and mobilize citizens in the absence of King’s galvanizing leadership. Could the civil rights coalition stay together as its focus shifted from public protests to congressional politics? Did the movement need a single, charismatic leader to succeed King, and who would that be? As the movement’s leaders pushed forward, they continually looked back, struggling to define King’s legacy and harness his symbolic power.
Waking from the Dream is a revealing and resonant look at civil rights after King as well as King’s place in American memory. It illuminates a time, explores a cause, and explains how a movement labored to overcome the loss of its leader.
by David Chappell