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T. R. M. Howard
Doctor, Entrepreneur, Civil Rights Pioneer
Price: $19.95

You may pre-order this title now and we will ship it to you when it is available.

Paperback • 6 x 9 inches

ISBN-13: 978-1-59813-313-4

Publication Date: May 1, 2018

Publisher: Independent Institute


Formats
Paperback (ISBN 978-1-59813-313-4)
Hardcover (ISBN 978-1-59813-312-7)
eBook Coming Soon
T. R. M. Howard
Doctor, Entrepreneur, Civil Rights Pioneer
Price: $19.95

You may pre-order this title now and we will ship it to you when it is available.

Paperback • 6 x 9 inches

ISBN-13: 978-1-59813-313-4

Publication Date: May 1, 2018

Publisher: Independent Institute


Formats
Paperback (ISBN 978-1-59813-313-4)
Hardcover (ISBN 978-1-59813-312-7)
eBook Coming Soon

Overview

T. R. M. Howard: Doctor, Entrepreneur, Civil Rights Pioneer tells the remarkable story of one of the early leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. A renaissance man, T. R. M. Howard (1908-1976) was a respected surgeon, important black community leader, and successful businessman. Howard's story reveals the importance of the black middle class, their endurance and entrepreneurship in the midst of Jim Crow, and their critical role in the early Civil Rights Movement.

In this powerful biography, David T. Beito and Linda Royster Beito shine a light on the life and accomplishments of this civil rights leader. Howard founded black community organizations, organized civil rights rallies and boycotts, mentored Medgar Evers, antagonized the Ku Klux Klan, and helped lead the fight for justice for Emmett Till. Raised in poverty and witness to racial violence from a young age, Howard was passionate about justice and equality. Ambitious, zealous, and sometimes paradoxical, T. R. M. Howard provides a complete portrait of an important leader all too often forgotten.

Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jerry W. Mitchell
Acknowledgments
Introduction

1. Up from the Black Patch
2. The Education of a “Race Man”
3. Fraternalist, Entrepreneur, Planter, and Segregation-Era Pragmatist
4. A “Modern ‘Moses’” for Civil Rights in Mississippi
5. “The Most Hated, and the Best Loved, Man in Mississippi”
6. “Hell to Pay in Mississippi”: The Murder of Emmett Till
7. “Time Bomb”: Howard, J. Edgar Hoover, and the Emmett Till Mystery
8. Taking on the Machine in Chicago: A Republican Campaign for Congress
9. Triumph and Tragedy: The Friendship Medical Center
Afterword

Notes
Index
About the Authors
Illustrations

Praise

“In the 15 or so years of the civil-rights movement, no incident evoked more outrage than the torture and killing of Emmett Till, the spirited 14-year-old who left Chicago in August 1955 to visit relatives in Mississippi. One afternoon in a general store, Till committed the fatal sin of smarting off (jokingly) to a white woman. His cousins hustled him away, but two nights later a knock at the door sounded. Menacing white men loomed, and as Till’s great-uncle pleaded they marched in and hauled him away. A few days later, Till’s body surfaced in the Tallahatchie River, a cotton-gin fan-wheel wrapped around him with barbed wire. The murder brought national disgust upon Mississippi. Especially after thousands of mourners viewed Till’s open casket and noted the barbarities wrought upon the boy. . . . One of them was T.R.M. Howard, physician, landowner, activist, orator, and the subject of T.R.M. Howard, a compelling biography by David T. Beito and his wife Linda Royster Beito. T.R.M. Howard is a necessary biography, too: Howard played an important part in the Emmett Till story, and in the entire civil-rights are. He deserves to be better known. . . . Three months after the Till murder, he lectured in a Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala., the guest of 26-year-old pastor Martin Luther King. He spoke of shootings, the FBI and a freedom march on Washington, D.C. One woman in the audience remembered years later Howard’s vivid description of the Till killing. Her name was Rosa Parks, and four days after Howard spoke she answered a Montgomery bus driver, ‘No.’” . . . He bought land, bred livestock, served on the board of a bank and advanced black enterprise on the premise that political power needed financial power. He led voter-registration drives, supported boycotts, and lobbied Washington for services and hospitals. . . . Famed civil-rights leader Medgar Evans was Howard’s protégé, as was (later) Jesse Jackson. . . . Howard drove Cadillacs and Buicks, wore fancy clothes and loved guns and big-game hunting. He praised free enterprise with a Booker T. Washington fervor, believing entrepreneurs to be better agents of change than activists. . . . A flamboyant Second Amendment, anti-communist capitalist doesn’t please journalists and historians searching for civil-rights martyrs. T.R.M. Howard, though, makes room for exactly such a figure, and rightly so. That Howard made an important contribution is unquestionable.”
Wall Street Journal

T.R.M. Howard’s wonderfully told story about an important personality sadly unknown to most students of the Civil Rights Movement is a more than welcome corrective. Dr. Howard’s life and accomplishments need to be better known!”
Julian Bond, former Chairman, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

“Dr. Howard was a history maker, and this book brings him to life as a man of courage whose actions and views on civil rights shaped American history.”
Juan A. Williams, Political Analyst, Fox News Channel; author, Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965

“David T. Beito, a professor of history at the University of Alabama, and Linda Royster Beito, the chair of the department of social sciences at Stillman College, are the authors of T.R.M. Howard. Fifty-four years ago today, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Chicago boy visiting family in Mississippi, was abducted, mutilated and slain after he allegedly whistled at a white woman. Several days later, his horribly disfigured body was fished out of the Tallahatchie River. Many such tragedies had previously happened to black Americans and then been ignored. The Till case was different because of the efforts of a flamboyant and wealthy black planter and surgeon, T.R.M. Howard. Howard's place in history has been woefully slighted. Without him, we might never have heard of Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, Medgar Evers or Operation PUSH. Howard was the crucial link connecting the Till slaying and the rise of the modern civil rights movement. But he was an unlikely civil rights hero. A prosperous businessman who spared no expense on his wardrobe, sped around in expensive Cadillacs, gambled on horses, ran a successful hospital that provided affordable healthcare, hunted big game in Africa and owned a 1,000-acre plantation, Howard promoted an agenda of entrepreneurship and self-help. . . . Why isn't this larger-than-life figure better known? Howard, a classically American "man on the make," is hard to pigeonhole. His secular orientation and pro-business ideas made him an anomaly in a civil rights movement dominated by church leaders and left-liberal activists. Politically, his activities offer something to please and offend everybody: A staunch Republican and ally of President Eisenhower, Howard was also a committed feminist whose clinics offered safe abortions in the years before Roe vs. Wade. But those who knew T.R.M. Howard (who died in 1976 at age 68) still speak about his energy, charisma and commitment. ‘“The man was dynamic,’ recalled Mamie Till-Mobley. ‘I just thought he was the greatest in the world.’”
Los Angeles Times

“It is my privilege and pleasure to have known and worked with Dr. Howard as he was pursuing the cause of civil rights in Mississippi with the same vim and vigor as it was being pursued in New York, Chicago, and other places. I was also afraid of him. This illuminating biography is a must read for anyone seeking to know more about the civil rights struggle in Mississippi in foregone years. Every acre was a drop of blood and every step was a tear.”
Benjamin L. Hooks, former Executive Director, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

“The definitive work on the life of T.R.M. Howard. A fascinating narrative that illuminates important aspects of the African American experience in the twentieth century.”
Adam Fairclough, Professor Emeritus of American History, Leiden University Institute for History; author, Better Day Coming: Blacks and Equality, 1890-2000

“One of the best biographies I have read in years. It works both as a revisionist project, challenging our understanding of the nature of black leadership in the South, and as a reclamation project, bringing back into the discussion a colorful and important transitional figure who has received little notice from scholars.”
Charles M. Payne, Jr., Frank P. Hixon Professor, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago; author, I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement

“Howard ‘consistently pushed an agenda of self-help, black business, and political equality whenever opportunities arose,’ write David T. Beito, a professor of history at the University of Alabama, and his wife Linda Royster Beito, a professor of social sciences at Stillman College, in their captivating and vividly detailed new biography, T.R.M. Howard. . . . Unlike other prominent civil rights leaders, though, Howard had little patience for the utopian schemes of the far left, declaring at one point that he wished ‘one bomb could be fashioned that would blow every Communist in America right back to Russia where they belong.’ In a similar vein, he maintained, ‘There is not a thing wrong with Mississippi today that real Jeffersonian democracy and the religion of Jesus Christ cannot solve.’ . . . No single individual brought down the South’s Jim Crow regime, but there were a few dozen who played essential parts. T.R.M. Howard convincingly elevates Howard to that rank. It also provocatively links Howard’s success to the controversial ideas of the 19th-century African-American leader Booker T. Washington, who had famously prioritized black economic independence over political liberty. . . . Indeed, one of the book’s most significant achievements is to highlight the indispensable role that black entrepreneurs and professionals played in the crucial early phase of the modern civil rights struggle. . . . For Howard, this focus on economic independence remained constant throughout his career. . . . Today, given the overwhelming attention that most historians have paid to King’s dazzling legacy, it’s easy to forget that fraternal societies and profit-minded entrepreneurs also led the fight for equal rights. With T.R.M. Howard, T.R.M. Howard’s achievements have finally received the attention they deserve.”
Reason

“T.R.M. Howard was not everyone’s idea of a civil rights hero, and his accomplishments have been widely neglected. But as historians David Beito and Linda Royster Beito demonstrate in their book Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power, he was in fact one of the most effective black civil rights leaders of his generation and a key figure in bringing civil rights to Mississippi and empowering black voters in Chicago.”
Harper’s

“’While historians have properly acknowledged the contributions of clergymen and grassroots activists” to the civil-rights movement, write David T. Beito and Linda Royster Beito, ‘they have too often neglected those made by entrepreneurs and black professionals.’ The Beitos’ new book— T.R.M. Howard—begins to set the record straight.”
National Review

T.R.M. Howard is the only biography of Dr. Theodore Roosevelt Mason Howard, whose remarkable life (1908–1976) combined entrepreneurship, medical practice, civil-rights activism against segregation, philanthropy, and high living. He was an irrepressible but flawed character, a man on the make who grew up under Jim Crow and took advantage of the few opportunities that system of repression left open. He then used his wealth and persuasive abilities to combat the system. Howard proved that freedom and capitalism were powerful weapons that could be used against bigotry. . . . The Beitos have written a timely and enlightening book. Howard was a fascinating man, and his belief that free enterprise offers poor people (of all races) the path to success needs to be trumpeted as loudly as ever. America today is torn by counterproductive governmental “affirmative action” policies such as quotas for “minority-owned” contractors and racial preferences in college admissions. The book’s subtext is that what government needs to do to help poor people and minorities is to get out of their way.”
The Freeman

“Fame is fleeting, and those who during their lifetime attain the debatable benefits of public acclaim will often, upon their death, have their memory entombed with them. Such is the case with T.R.M. Howard, who for a time was one of America’s most widely known, colorful, and respected civil rights pioneers. The husband and wife team of David and Linda Beito have labored nearly a decade to write a biography, T.R.M. Howard, in hopes that they can raise the man’s memory from the grave. The book was worth the wait. Well-written and deeply researched, the authors immerse the reader into Dr. Howard’s world, one that crossed paths with a litany of American greats such as MLK, Jesse Jackson, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, and Jesse Owens. Four days after seeing Dr. Howard give an impassioned speech at MLK’s Baptist Church, Rosa Parks took her famous stand against Jim Crow. She insisted that it was the thought of Emmett Till, who’s lynching was the subject of Dr. Howard’s speech, which spurred her to refuse to give up her bus seat. . . . Throughout the book, Mr. and Mrs. Beito do a sparkling job bringing to life Dr. Howard, his energy (he was a ‘workaholic’ p.26), his flamboyance (he had a ‘habit of hunting deer from an air-conditioned Cadillac’ p.162), and his personal bravery in battling to establish the rule of law in the South. But that is not all that recommends this work. . . . I have rarely put a book down so I could rise out of my seat and give it a standing ovation, but after that passage I couldn’t help myself. . . . By bringing the man so clearly into focus, warts and all, this finely written, incredibly important biography will do more to push Dr. Howard further into the background than to earn him the recognition he so richly deserves. Dr. Howard will remain largely forgotten, despite, and ironically because of, this spirited and engaging biography.”
Daily Kos

News


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(510) 635-3690
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News Date
“On Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Remember Also T.R.M. Howard” Research Fellow David Beito, author of T.R.M. Howard: Doctor, Entrepreneur, Civil Rights Pioneer Op-Ed in the Washington Examiner Mon., Jan. 15, 2018

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