Contact the Author |

The Book

In 1955, Clyde Kennard, a decorated army veteran, was forced to cut short the final year of his studies at the University of Chicago and return home to Mississippi due to family circumstances, where Kennard made the decision to complete his education. Yet still on the eve of the civil rights movement in America, Kennard’s decision would be one of the first serious attempts to integrate any public school at the college level in the state.


The Life and Times of Clyde Kennard tells the true story of Chicago University student Clyde Kennard’s efforts to complete his further education in his home state of Mississippi at Mississippi Southern College (now the University of Southern Mississippi) against the backdrop of the institutionalized social order of the times and the prevailing winds of change attempting to blow that social order away. Author Derek R. King shares his extensive research into Kennard’s life, and he touches on the key events that shaped those times and the impact of the events on people involved on both sides of what was an extremely heated and emotive debate.


In the end, Clyde Kennard would take a nonconfrontational route to change, and as James Meredith’s admission to the University of Mississippi became more widely known at the time, Kennard became the forgotten man. But his story is an uplifting and inspiring story of perseverance, hardship, and committed determination to right wrongs, and it is a testament to the enduring legacy of the civil rights movement and its challenge to the status quo of injustice.


Read an Excerpt  Order Now