This YA adaptation of Anderson’s breakthrough 2018 book of the same name for adults demonstrates her scholarship on racial discrimination and voter disenfranchisement, presenting an urgent case for political intervention.
“The millions of votes and voters that disappeared in 2016 were a long time in the making,” begins this deep historical investigation. The excitement of the Reconstruction era, when newly enfranchised black men were able to leverage such transformative policies as the shaping of the public school system, led to white people inventing de facto and de jure mechanisms to prevent black America from having any real political power. Civil rights struggles achieved the 1965 Voting Rights Act in a period of U.S. global ideological competition, but simmering anger and backlash from whites strove to undo voter protections for black citizens. Coverage of the controversial 2000 presidential election results shows how the GOP–led reinvention of voter disenfranchisement strategies undermined federal government–backed voter protections in order to focus on eliminating voter fraud. Persuasively emphasized throughout the book is the disproportionate impact of these policies on black citizens, as Anderson argues with clarity that predatory racial animus lies at the center of the American democratic project, culminating with the winner of the 2016 presidential election. Bolden’s (Inventing Victoria, 2019, etc.) adaptation will fire up a new generation of civic activists through its gripping presentation.
A significant people’s history and call to action for youth. (discussion guide, resources, notes, photo credits, index) (Nonfiction. 13-18)