Dorothy Cotton, recently honored with a Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum, is the former director for the Southern Christian Leader Conference's Citizens Education Project. Ms. Cotton was at the front lines in the fight for civil rights. In If Your Back's Not Bent she shares an up-close and personal account of those turbulent times, as no one else can.
Born into poverty in North Carolina, she survived deprivation and racism by seeking solace in books and spirituality, worked her way through college, earned a master's degree, and married. But something was missing. She found it through her work with the Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., then a charismatic young preacher. She became a member of his Executive Committee for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, training and organizing men and women across the South to participate in nonviolent demonstrations, including the fateful 1963 Birmingham campaign. After King's death, she continued her work as an activist, serving as vice president of field operations for the King Center for Nonviolent Change. Today she speaks around the world, from Africa to China, and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the BBC, PBS' American Experience, and many more.