Influentialbooks

Carl O. Snowden

January 20, 2008

A year ago, Carl O. Snowden was named the state's first director of the Office for Civil Rights in the Maryland Attorney General's Office. Born and raised in Annapolis, Snowden is a lifelong activist who has operated his own civil rights consulting firm. He helped bring a federal civil rights complaint against the Anne Arundel County school system and also led efforts to erect a statue of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at Anne Arundel Community College. Snowden served on the Annapolis city council and in the administration of former Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens.

"The Autobiography of Malcolm X" / by Alex Haley / Penguin Books / 512 pages / $14.95

I read it at the tender age of 14 and it changed my view of the world completely. It was the first book I read from cover to cover in one sitting. I was mesmerized. It is a book I look back on often.

"The Grapes of Wrath" / by John Steinbeck / Penguin Classics / 464 pages / $16

I read it as a student at the Key School and it is another book that left an indelible imprint regarding how people struggle against the oppression they are faced with. It was really a very inspirational book for me.

"Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?" by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. / Beacon Press / 209 pages / $25

I read that after Dr. King was assassinated. It had an ever greater impact on me because it put in perspective the crossroads that existed for the nation and the civil rights movement.

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