Exciting News: Wilcox County Voting Rights Book Rejected!

Not everyone might think this is good news, but I do. After waiting 11 months to hear from New South Books in Montgomery Alabama, I received this message Jun 22, 2011, at 10:17 AM,

Dear Maria Gitin,

NewSouth Books reviewed your manuscript, and I regret that we will not be able to accept This Little Light of Mine. We thought it was well written and historically valuable, but we just can’t fit it into our publishing lineup at this time. Thanks so much for contacting us, and best of luck.

Sincerely,Noelle Matteson, Editorial Assistant, NewSouth Books

“Well written and historically valuable” sound good to me!

Images from 1965

I am grateful to all my Civil Rights Veteran buddies especially the Wilcox County Freedom Fighters, Alabama history buffs and friends of good literature who have helped bring this collection of stories of the Voting Rights Movement this far on its journey to publication. Just as we sang back in the day, we gotta keep on walkin’, keep on talkin’  – I have to keep on keepin’ on until this book lands with the right publisher. More than 50 people I interviewed, all my friends and dear ones are with me on this journey. Thank you for your support, ideas and comments.

PS As of March 2012,  the book was completely revised with the assistance of  developmental editor, Cassandra Shaylor. Now re-titled This Bright Light of Ours to reflect the amazing collective effort that has gone into this project, the new book includes contextual history in addition to stories and photographs. Prior to submitting it elsewhere, the entire mss was requested by University of Alabama Press which has scheduled publication for early 2014.  This amazing accomplishment is due primarily to the following: the courageous activists of Wilcox County Alabama, Joy Crawford-Washington – publicist extraordinaire of Mobile AL, professor Martha Jane Brazy of University of South Alabama and Scott E. Kirkland, researcher and curator of the Mobile Museum of History. At University of Alabama Press, Editor in Chief Dan Waterman and Acquisitions Editor Donna Cox-Baker are wise and courageous risk-takers dedicated to reclaiming the full history of Alabama. Their dedication, enthusiasm, vision and commitment has made this pending publication possible.

Please keep your comments coming and post them here. They really help!

5 comments on “Exciting News: Wilcox County Voting Rights Book Rejected!

  1. Joy Washington says:

    Maria, you have written a story that needs to be read by many, and I am confident and faithful that your book will be read in print and on Kindles, etc. You have spent many years researching, interviewing and writing, and now it’s time to benefit from your hard work. This Little Light of Mine has a unique, powerful and historic message. Not only do you talk about your experience as a Civil Rights Worker, but you share the stories of families that you met, lived and worked with. The families are grateful to you for remembering their sacrifice and bravery. You are our angel, and we know that this book will be a blessing to many.


  2. Ann Todd Jealous says:

    Maria, your letter from NewSouth Books is very encouraging. Not only did they praise your writing and the value of your book, but they also included “at this time”. I have no doubt that your commitment and hard work and perseverance will result in a published work. It is clear from the comments in your blog that you have already made a deeply significant contribution to the spirit of the families with whom you shared life in the struggle. Congratulations to you!!


  3. JacqueMaurello says:

    I would like to say that this book needs to be published period! We have few book written about the women that have impacted this era. If we do not remember the past we will repeat the future!


    • Maria Gitin says:

      Dear Jaque, Thank you for your kind words. I enjoyed speaking to your “Women in the Civil Rights Movement” class at University of Colorado Pueblo and hope that all of you pursue your academic and personal interest in civil rights. It is an honor to share stories of the brave African American grassroots leaders of The Movement.


  4. Hi Maria,

    Congratulations on the excedllent work with your book and website/blog. I did a book with the prior entity that is now New South, which was Black Belt Press … It was The Children Coming On: A Retrospective of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. It was selected by The Smithonian Travelling Exhibt for the 50th Anniversary of the bus boycott, and toured with their exhibt for four years around the nation; and was also endorsed by the National Education Association. However there was a lot of financial issues at Black Belt at the time, and the company went out of business … and was taken over by its creditors … and along with some other authors, I did not get my royalties, and only 4,2000 copies were printed … so you will find the right publlisher in time.

    Please email me at: Willy_21@hotmail.com, and, and maybe we can arrange a phone conversation, and, I may have some suggestions as to a publsher.
    Thanks, also, for citing my book:
    The SCOPE of Freedom: The Leadership of Hosea Williams with Dr. King’s Summer ’65 Student Volunteers, in your footnotes. One reason I did the book compilation of documents, and, analysis of some of the ditorted mis-information, and intentional disinformation – was so we could begin to tell our own story of that historic summer when 49,000 new voters were registered, and we helped generate complaints to the US Dept of Justice that got Federal Registrars into racist controled counties, and, also, our federal complaints helped implement the ’64 CR Act.

    If any of those who assisted you with your book, or any who were in SCOPE, are interested in getting a copy of my book, please let them know it is available at discount to them, and to educators. Same email as above for info on that. Hope to be in touch soon.

    Best personal regards, Willy Leventhal


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s