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We Will Shoot Back

We Will Shoot Back

Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement

Akinyele Omowale Umoja
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Winner of the 2014 Anna Julia Cooper-CLR James Book Award presented by the National Council of Black Studies

Winner of the 2014 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature

A bold and exciting historical narrative of the armed resistance of Black soldiers of the Mississippi Freedom Movement

In We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement, Akinyele Omowale Umoja argues that armed resistance was critical to the Southern freedom struggle and the dismantling of segregation and Black disenfranchisement. Intimidation and fear were central to the system of oppression in most of the Deep South. To overcome the system of segregation, Black people had to overcome fear to present a significant challenge to White domination. As the civil rights movement developed, armed self-defense and resistance became a significant means by which the descendants of enslaved Africans overturned fear and intimidation and developed different political and social relationships between Black and White Mississippians.

This riveting historical narrative reconstructs the armed resistance of Black activists, their challenge of racist terrorism, and their fight for human rights.


Akinyele Omowale Umoja is Professor and Chair of the Department of African-American studies at Georgia State University, where he teaches courses on the history of the civil rights and Black Power movements and other social movements. He is the author of We Will Shoot Back: Amed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement (NYU Press 2013). He has been a community activist for over 40 years.


  • Publisher: NYU Press; Reprint edition (August 22, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 351 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1479886033
  • ISBN-13: 9781479886036
  • Item Weight: 1.05 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6 x 0.88 x 9 inches
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