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1963 was a year that began with George Wallace declaring “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever,” and concluded with Martin Luther King being named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year. It was a year that cemented our current Cuban policy and shaped the events in Vietnam. It was a year that demonstrated to the world America’s incongruence between the Jeffersonian ideal that “all men are created equal” and the everlasting threads of segregation and slavery to which the streets of Birmingham bore witness. Finally, 1963 was the year America was forced to acknowledge the fact that presidential assassinations were a reality as it witnessed the death of President Kennedy. 1963:The Year of Hope and Hostility ($32.99) explores the transformative year when America lost the illusion of innocence.
Byron Williams is a columnist, author, and pastor of the Resurrection Community Church in Berkeley, CA.