“Fire in My Bones” – Pottsville native and Civil Rights leader Charles H. King’s memoir

We have a new addition to the Wynning History bookshelf!

Fire in My Bones was published in 1983 by Civil Rights leader Charles H. King, Jr. In its pages, King explores the origins of his family, his rage against racial oppression in the mid-20th century, the actions he took to face down discrimination in America, and his how faith shaped his life and career.

We picked up this book, though, because King provides a unique perspective of life in the Coal Region. He was born in Pottsville in 1925 and grew up among the city’s small black population. In Fire in My Bones, King went into great detail about his childhood experiences in Schuylkill County and how he was largely sheltered from the Jim Crow segregation faced by African Americans in the South.

Charles H. King - 1944
Charles H. King, Jr. in his U.S. Navy uniform, 1944

In future posts, we will examine King’s writings about his childhood and his first-person insights about life, faith, and race in the Coal Region.

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Featured Image: The newest addition to the Wynning History bookshelf – “Fire in My Bones” 

Click here to read Charles H. King, Jr’s obituary in the New York Times from September 1991


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