Most of us have heard about the legendary Deacons for Defense. Through exhaustive research and interviews, Umoja introduced us to many other unsung heroes and sheroes (although not surprising the historical documentation was scant on women’s contribution to armed resistance in the south). Men and women like Hartman Turnbow, Rudy Shields, Robert “Fat Daddy” Davis, C.O.Chin, Ora “Miss Dago” Bryant, Luella Hazelwood and many more. Their inspirational stories affirmed that black folks stood with dignity, unflinchingly looking in the face of pure hatred and forged on to re-define their futures.
In We Will Shoot Back, Akinyele Umoja goes further than dispelling a long held myth that black Mississippians were too paralyzed in fear to defend themselves and actively participate in the freedom struggle. And that the omnipotent Klu Klux Klan kept the black community in check. He confronts head-on the stereotype that black southerners were docile, head-hanging, cheek-turning second class citizens.