New Memoir Highlights Civil Rights Struggles

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Author James V. Lyles traces a journey from rural poverty to fulfilling ministry.

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Hard Trials, Great Tribulations” (published by Xlibris),James V. Lyles’s
lively memoir, recounts his boyhood on an Arkansas cotton farm in the Great Depression. His sharecropper family lived a precarious existence marked by poverty and the racist culture of the time.

As Cornish Rogers writes in the book’s foreword, Lyles “was an eyewitness as well as a participant” in a “half-century of the black liberation struggle . . . he describes an early life reminiscent of Erskine Caldwell’s ‘Tobacco Road’ of the 1930s and ’40s.” The narrative, says Rogers, “is written against the backdrop of some of the most memorable civil rights incidents, such as the Little Rock High School integration riots and the killing of Emmett Till.” One focus is the little-known story of the integration of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology in Dallas. Lyles was one of the school’s first black graduates.

It was an unlikely achievement for a youth whose schooling began in one-room segregated schools, interrupted by cotton-picking season and by years when the family lived far from any school. Lyles relates memorable incidents from an eventful and hazardous childhood and recounts his growing abilities as he took on jobs as a teen, in his uncle’s Louisiana café, in a Kansas City meatpacking plant, and in a Texarkana-based munitions plant. Rogers writes that Lyles’s career as an ordained minister “took him to small towns, large cities, college campuses, the armed forces, a foreign mission bureaucracy, and the continent of Africa, all of which he relates with remarkable candor.”

“Hard Trials, Great Tribulations”
By James V. Lyles
Hardcover | 6x9in | 370pages | ISBN 9781499032444
Softcover | 6x9in | 370pages | ISBN 9781499032451
E-Book | 370pages | ISBN 9781499032437
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
James V. Lyles began life as the son of Arkansas sharecroppers, a year before the start of the Great Depression. One of Perkins School of Theology’s first black graduates, he became a U.S. Air Force chaplain, served as pastor of churches in five states, and held executive posts at Methodist general agencies.

Xlibris Publishing, an Author Solutions, LLC imprint, is a self-publishing services provider created in 1997 by authors, for authors. By focusing on the needs of creative writers and artists and adopting the latest print-on-demand publishing technology and strategies, we provide expert publishing services with direct and personal access to quality publication in hardcover, trade paperback, custom leather-bound and full-color formats. To date, Xlibris has helped to publish more than 60,000 titles. For more information, visit or call 1-888-795-4274 to receive a free publishing guide. Follow us @XlibrisPub on Twitter for the latest news.

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