"Evocative...Still felt fresh to me, telling the story through the eyes of the mother of one of the victims." – Marc Lacey, New York Times
“Dr. Goodman was not just a history maker. She was a visionary pioneer who made the future. She made the future by standing up for those whom no one saw kneeling, by speaking for those whom no one heard crying, and by fighting for those whom no one knew were hurting.”
– Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
“Carolyn Goodman got in the way. She got in trouble. It was good trouble. It was necessary trouble. And she inspired many of us to continue to get in trouble.”
– John Lewis, U.S. Congressman and civil rights icon
Before she passed away in 2007, Dr. Carolyn Goodman collaborated with Brad Herzog to recount a life of courage and conviction, love and loss, tragedy and triumph. A half century after the "Mississippi Burning" murders, this is the first time that a victim’s family member has expounded about the experience and the emotions—from guilt to resolve—that it spawned. More than simply a memoir, My Mantelpiece is the story of a century’s seminal progressive movement seen through the lens of a remarkable woman’s singular journey.
Carolyn Goodman’s life was punctuated by tragedy—a brother’s premature death, childhood molestation, teenaged abortion, a mother’s callousness, a father’s suicide, a son’s infamous murder, and the loss of two husbands. But hers is foremost a tale of survival, of turning personal anguish into social conscience. When her twenty-year-old son, Andy, was one of three civil rights volunteers to disappear in Mississippi in the summer of 1964, the story galvanized the nation. The names Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner still spark raw emotion in those who recall the era’s turmoil. Carolyn Goodman turned her son’s martyrdom into a mission. Among many other projects, she formed The Andrew Goodman Foundation, organized an anniversary Freedom Summer, and produced documentary films celebrating young activists. In 1999, she was arrested at a protest in New York City. She was eighty-three.