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Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 by

In a case of the acorn not falling far from the tree, Phil Noble Jr., son of the author of NewSouth’s 2003 memoir Beyond the Burning Bus — about the civil rights movement in Anniston, Alabama — is launching an international website, Hope Plus, that promotes social politics.

Phil Jr. grew up in Anniston, which gained infamy in 1961 when a KKK-led mob attacked and firebombed a bus carrying Freedom Riders across the South in a test of the Kennedy administration’s commitment to enforcing new regulations barring segregation in interstate travel. Phil Sr. was the pastor at the time of the Presbyterian church in Anniston, and he subsequently was one of the leaders of efforts to undo the racial tension and to peacefully desegregate Anniston. He describes this historic effort in his critically acclaimed memoir.

Phil Jr., meanwhile, grew up to become a leader in progressive politics in South Carolina and Washington. He has become an expert at using technology and social networking media for good causes through PoliticsOnline.

The Hope Plus web portal will extend these good works internationally by offering “online tools to enable social projects such as building schools and fighting pollution.” According to the BBC, the site will launch in December at the Copenhagen Climate Change conference.

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