A Cry in the Night by Mary S. Brown-Durr

Posted June 11, 2014 in Book Review / 0 Comments


I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Cry in the Night by Mary S. Brown-DurrA Cry in the Night by Mary S. Brown-Durr
Published by Outskirts Press on August 7th 2013
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 100
Format: ARC
Source: ARC from publisher
Buy on Amazon

The book, A Cry in the Night, based on the murder of a seventeen year old civil rights participant, provides a general background on the life of Negros in Canton, Mississippi during the Jim Crow era. The city of Canton, now the city of lights was once a city embedded in darkness as Negros struggled for justice and equality. It focuses primarily on the role of the civil rights movement dealing with boycott, integration, voter registration, and death. Recommend for general reading.

Main Points
Writing Style:
The writing is okay. The first thing to understand is that most of the book (the middle) reads like a textbook. It’s very factual and objective. Only the beginning and the end are where the story is.
Also, there are numerous grammar/spelling/punctuation errors. They get kind of distracting sometimes.
I found the plot very intriguing. It was more like a textbook than an actual memoir, but it was a very interesting and important period of U.S. history.
As for the actual story, it started off pretty personal and dramatic and picked up again only in the end. It was an interesting transition. It didn’t end with a direct resolution for civil rights, but rather a more personal resolution of sorts for the main character. It was still satisfying for the most part, but not entirely expected.
The setting was well described, especially towards the beginning. It gave the reader a real feel for what the 1960s were like in the South.
Good vs. Bad


  • setting
  • historical accuracy
  • characters
Less than perfect:
  • writing
  • plot (storyline)
Bottom Line
This book is a nice short snapshot of U.S. history. It discusses the more intriguing actions and dilemmas of the Civil Rights Movement in the South. It reads more like a textbook than a memoir for the most part, but the storyline is very dramatic when it is described. The writing wasn’t bad but contained numerous errors. Would I read more by this author? Probably not. Would I recommend this book to others? Yes.

About Mary S. Brown-Durr

I was born in Belzoni, Mississippi in 1953. The family moved to Madison County ten miles west of Canton, Mississippi in 1956. However, school years were spent at Cameron Street Elementary, Rogers Junior-Senior Colored, and Canton Public High Schools. I received an extensive education from Mississippi College, Jackson State University, and Walden University. I currently hold degrees in Business Administration and Instructional Design and Technology with a specialist in Training Development and Performance Improvement, an Ed.D. concentration in Educational Technology. My lifetime achievement includes, but is not limited to, the Civil Rights Crusade, business development, curriculum design and development, corporate training, research, program evaluation, instructional design and development, technical writing, competency-based instruction, supervisory/management in customer care instructions, leadership and diversity training, and creative problem solving skills in an Andragogy learning environment.

Overall: three-stars


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