Jump to page content

News and Reviews




Weary Feet, Rested Souls - Jacket Design by Julie Metz. Jacket Photograph: Selma March c 1978 Matt Heron/Take Stock
Weary Feet, Rested Souls
Hardback published
January 1998
Jacket Design by Julie Metz.

Weary Feet, Rested Souls - paperback cover
Weary Feet, Rested Souls Paperback published
February 1999


Author Launches Blog

In March 2007, Townsend Davis began a blog on issues and thoughts related to Weary FeetRestedSouls and Civil Rights with the following posting...

"So, I thought I’d use this space to start a conversation about civil rights historical sites and related topics.  Have you used Weary Feet, Rested Souls during your travels?  Did you find a site you visited particularly compelling or not?   What have you noticed that is new?  Are you doing a research project on civil rights that involves one of the communities featured in the book?  Do you have a comment on news of the day, such as the appearance of Presidential candidates in Selma to commemorate Bloody Sunday last weekend?  Please go ahead and add it to this space.  I will try to respond as promptly as possible. "

Join the conversation at www.townsenddavis.com/blog

Press Release

W.W. Norton & Company press release
—January 19, 1998


Praise for Weary Feet, Rested Souls


...from the experts 

"Masterful in coverage, insightful in analysis, and always exhilarating."
—A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., historian, judge and civil rights leader

"Weary Feet, Rested Souls is a superb, indispensable guide for anybody interested in touring America's Civil Rights Freedom Trail. Brimming with historical anecdotes and fresh facts, it is also a highly readable and reliable reference book."
—Douglas Brinkley, director of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies and author of the American Heritage History of the United States

"Townsend Davis's splendid account of the Civil Rights Movement reminds us that young people play such a significant part in bringing about change. Yet children today feel disconnected from their proud history and are often unaware of the events and the people of the cataclysmic time not so long ago that gave them the rights and dignity which are now theirs to claim. Weary Feet, Rested Souls is a valuable and beautiful road map to a landscape we must not forget."
— Marian Wright Edelman, President of the Children's Defense Fund

"With this book, Davis has given us a key to historic Southern worlds that will be a priceless treasure for every American."
—William Ferris, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities

"Even if — especially if — you've never read a single book on America's black freedom struggle, read Townsend Davis's Weary Feet, Rested Souls. No other book on the movement offers a better 'sense of place,' and Weary Feet will allow you literally to follow in the footsteps of movement marchers and martyrs all the way from Arkansas to North Carolina. Weary Feet is a moving and accurate guide, and an invaluable contribution to civil rights history."
—David J. Garrow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Bearing the Cross

"One of the most valuable lessons we can learn from the past is that the people who did extraordinary things were much like us. I hope that this guidebook will keep the history of the Civil Rights Movement alive, and help us carry on its work. I look forward to a trip south with Weary Feet, Rested Souls in hand."
—Caroline Kennedy, author of In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action

...and from the media

"... a mixture of history and travel reportage, with a preservationist's eye for the churches, homes and public places of historical importance... useful to students and entertaining to general readers."
New York Times Book Review, 6/21/98
Full Review

"Weary Feet, Rested Souls is history for those who prefer the scholarship of the streets to that of libraries and archives... a mind-jarring reminder of how far the country has come since the bad old days of flat-out segregation."
Chicago Tribune, 3/1/98

"To the uninitiated, Davis's book offers an excellent launching pad into the expansive universe of the civil rights struggle.... a worthwhile addition to anyone's library."
New York Law Journal, 6/19/98
Full Review

"... an informed, lively and often poignant tour ... conveys a vivid sense of the physical geography of the movement -- a sense generally lacking from more scholarly studies."
Times Literary Supplement (London), 10/23/98
Full Review

"Davis's different approach to historical investigation lends Weary Feet, Rested Souls that satisfying edge many history books lack... offers ample information into the past, as well as a guide to discovering the South today."
—Copley News Service, 2/25/98

"A sort of Dante of a particular American Inferno, the author guides readers — and travelers — through Alabama, Arkansas, George, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee to the sites and sights that resonate with the struggle to achieve freedom and equality ... a catalog both dire and inspiring."
Memphis Commercial-Appeal, 3/1/98 ("Pick of the Week" in book section)

"... a valuable resource for individuals and families interested in the history and culture of the civil rights movement in planning learning vacations."
Tri-State Defender, 2/25/98

"Weary Feet, Rested Souls is such an important book, one that earns itself a place on every home's bookshelf."
Orangeburg Times and Democrat, 1/2/98
Full Review
Response by Cleveland L. Sellers (1/24/98)



with favorable mentions in ...

James Armstrong
in his barber shop
James Armstrong in his barber shop

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Birmingham Post-Herald

Black & White (Birmingham)


Columbia Law School Report

Duke Magazine



Enterprise-Tocsin (Indianola)

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Groton School Quarterly

Independent (Montgomery)

Library Journal

Miami Herald


New York

Publishers Weekly

Selma Times-Journal

Southern Register

St. Paul Pioneer-Press

Symbol (Atlanta)


Tri-State Defender

Village Voice


Washington Post

... and other publications.