Democracy audiobooks
Home  |  Titles  |  Categories  |  University Press Audiobooks  |  Contact  |  About  |  Search
One Nation Divided by Slavery
Protecting Yellowstone
The Natural World of Lewis and Clark
Reconsidering the American Way of War
minimum width for cell
The Practical Utopians
zOvercoming Prejudice
The Agrarian Vision

Beside the Troubled WatersBeside the Troubled Waters

A Black Doctor Remembers Life, Medicine, and Civil Rights in an Alabama Town

Sonnie Wellington Hereford III, Jack D. Ellis and

Narrated by Kenneth Lee

Available from Audible

Book published by University of Alabama Press

Beside the Troubled Waters is a memoir by an African American physician in Alabama whose story in many ways typifies the lives and careers of black doctors in the south during the segregationist era while also illustrating the diversity of the black experience in the medical profession. Based on interviews conducted with Hereford over ten years, the account includes his childhood and youth as the son of a black sharecropper and Primitive Baptist minister in Madison County, Alabama, during the Depression; his education at Huntsville’s all-black Councill School and medical training at Meharry Medical College in Nashville; his medical practice in Huntsville’s black community beginning in 1956; his efforts to overcome the racism he met in the white medical community; his participation in the civil rights movement in Huntsville; and his later problems with the Medicaid program and state medical authorities, which eventually led to the loss of his license.

Hereford’s memoir stands out because of its medical and civil rights themes, and also because of its compelling account of the professional ruin Hereford encountered after 37 years of practice, as the end of segregation and the federal role in medical care placed black doctors in competition with white ones for the first time.

Sonnie Wellington Hereford III is a retired physician and civil rights leader who has taught at Alabama A&M University and Calhoun Community College, and has served as campus physician for those schools, as well as Oakwood College.

Jack D. Ellis is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and author of The Physician-Legislators of France: Medicine and Politics in the Early Third Republic, 1870–1914.


“Dr. Hereford’s ‘as told to’ autobiography is a fine, quick read that covers significant aspects of African American social history, the history of the civil rights movement, and medical history. As Dr. Ellis notes in the introduction, Hereford certainly can tell a story. This is an important book. It deserves a wide and intelligent readership.”

—Gregory Michael Dorr, author of Segregation‚Äôs Science: Eugenics and Society in Virginia

Beside the Troubled Waters is a memoir that tells both photographs' stories and many others in a straightforward, compelling narrative that makes a powerful impact.”

The Huntsville Times

All titles are published by:
University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks