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The Story of Shelley Stewart

Shelley Stewart was five when he and his brothers watched their father murder their mother with an axe; six when he became homeless, suffering unspeakable abuses. He was 16 when he first sat behind a radio microphone; 25 when the Ku Klux Klan cut down a radio tower to get him off the air; 30 when he helped Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., mount the historic Children's March through the streets of Birmingham. Throughout his life, he countered ignorance with intelligence, fought injustice with tenacity and faced hostility without fear, guided by the memory of his mother, Mattie C.

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  • Compassion, grit, intelligence, foresight, generosity ... these are only a few of the words that come to mind when I think of my friend Shelley Stewart. In this powerful memoir, he shows that a son’s love for his mother is best shown through a life well lived.

    Andrew Westmoreland,
    President, Samford University

  • A testament to the courage, strength, and generosity of the human spirit. Stewart’s life story is both lesson and inspiration: it teaches us that hope and determination can overcome adversity, and it inspires us always to choose what is right.

    Bill Milliken,
    founder, Communities in Schools

  • When you read a person’s life story and feel like you’ve been in their skin, you know you’re in the hands of a talented biographer. Shelley Stewart’s story is astonishing, and Don Keith has told it with grace and honesty. I was mesmerized.

    Robert Inman,
    author of The Governor’s Lady

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