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A DREAM OF FREEDOM by Diane McWhorter Kirkus Star


The Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1968

by Diane McWhorter

Age Range: 10 - 15

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-439-57678-4
Publisher: Scholastic

This clear-eyed account of the civil-rights movement’s most vicious years should be required reading for anyone who thinks that it all began and ended with Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. Using her own privileged Birmingham childhood as a springboard, Pulitzer-winner McWhorter sketches in the realities of post-Reconstruction racism in North and South alike, along with the conflicting responses to it embodied by Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois. Then she chronicles horrors and heroism from the violent reactions to Brown v. Board of Education to the chaotic close of the “Poor People’s Campaign.” But along with detailing the proud accomplishments of the movement’s iconic figures, she also points up King’s messiah complex and Jesse Jackson’s early reputation as an opportunist. She profiles lesser known activists and looks behind the movement’s seeming solidarity to its internal dissensions and politics. Illustrated with many of the era’s most telling news photos, and enhanced by follow-ups, side portraits, and a manageable, multimedia resource list, this passionate study will take readers a long way toward understanding the enduring, personal meaning that the struggle for racial equality has for everyone. (Nonfiction. 10-15)