Racial desegregation threatens to tear a rural South Carolina town apart in John Hamby's gripping new novel, "Freedom to Choose." The long-awaited sequel to "Freedom of Choice," this historical tale picks up in the aftermath of Ron Guy's firing from his position as principal at an all-white elementary school. His support for racial equality doesn't sit well with the Ku Klux Klan and White Citizens Council, but Ron manages to find allies in Reverend Booker T. Boyd and Dalton Rhoades. Together, they do all they can to promote desegregation and voter registration, even setting up a citizenship school to help blacks maneuver the complicated process of registering to vote. But the more progress they make, the more bloodshed surrounds them-culminating in a horrific murder that shakes Ron to the core. And as he struggles with these violent oppressors, Ron must also come to terms with his newfound skepticism in traditional religion, his doubt over the efficacy of passive resistance, and his ever-present fear of what might be lurking around every corner. A fascinating glimpse into the tumultuous civil rights era, "Freedom to Choose" offers fresh insight into one of America's most historic moments.
John Hamby was a high school teacher and elementary school principal during the 1960s, when racial segregation was enforced both legally and socially in the South. He writes about the turmoil that resulted from efforts to desegregate public schools during that time in his first novel, "Freedom of Choice." Having also worked as a college professor and assistant director of a national dropout prevention center, he is the author of educational works that include "Straight Talk about Discipline," "Developing a Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan: A Practical Guide," and "Vocational Education for the 21st Century." Now retired, Hamby lives with his spouse in Fort Mill, South Carolina.