On November 16, 2022, author Steve Fiffer interviewed Ebony Lumumba and Julian Miller, who are featured in his new book The Moment: Changemakers on Why and How They Joined the Fight for Social Justice, as part of the History Is Lunch series.
“While reading a typewritten sermon by the civil rights icon Rev. C.T. Vivian, I saw penciled reminders to himself that words alone would not bring change, but that action is required,” said Fiffer. “There comes a time in everyone's life when they must decide whether to stand up for what they believe in or remain on the sidelines—and that was the origin of The Moment.”
The book consists of personal accounts of watershed moments that moved individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and fields of work to get involved—and what their lives were like before the decision, how the decision was made, the impact on the individual and others, and lessons learned that might be instructive to others.
Alex Kotlowitz, journalist, filmmaker, and author of There Are No Children Here, wrote of The Moment: “In these pages, Steve Fiffer has collected the stories of individuals who so deeply believe in the aspirations of our country, and who have made it their life mission to make sure we live up to those ideals. Their words and their journeys are inspiring, and light the way for the rest of us.”
Ebony Lumumba is associate professor and chair of the department of English, foreign languages, and speech communication at Jackson State University.
Julian Miller is director of the Reuben V. Anderson Pre-Law Program and assistant professor of political science at Touglaoo College.
Steve Fiffer is the co-author with Rev. C.T. Vivian of It’s in the Action: Memories of a Nonviolent Warrior and author of more than a dozen nonfiction books, including Jimmie Lee and James: Two Lives, Two Deaths, and the Movement that Changed America, and award winning collaborations with Southern Poverty Law Center founder Morris Dees, human rights activist Dr. Quentin Young, and former Secretary of State James Baker. A Guggenheim Fellowship winner, Fiffer is a graduate of Yale and the University of Chicago Law School.
Signed copies of the book will be for sale at the program.
History Is Lunch is sponsored by the John and Lucy Shackelford Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation for Mississippi. The weekly lecture series of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History explores different aspects of the state's past. The hour-long programs are held in the Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium of the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum building at 222 North Street in Jackson and livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook.