MY COUNTRY, 'TIS OF THEE by Keith Ellison


My Faith, My Family, Our Future
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An engaging memoir on what it means to be a black Muslim in American government.

Raised in the 1970s in Detroit and Minneapolis in a household where hard work and discipline were the rules, not the exception, Ellison's childhood was saturated with tales of the struggles his extended family had endured to achieve racial equality under the Jim Crow laws. He juggled being an upper-middle-class black Catholic youth on track to succeed despite the street gangs, unemployment and drug deals commonplace in Detroit. From these beginnings, Ellison created his own vision of a post–civil rights society, "a new inclusive perspective" of society for which he was willing to stand up and fight. His desire for a more balanced, kind and fair world corresponded with the views he found in the Quran, and Ellison quickly converted to Islam. As an activist, he recognized that the best way to create the changes he envisioned was to become an active member of government. "I understood that we could make a difference in our homes, and in our communities—but we also could make a difference in our country by participating in government instead of just criticizing it,” he writes. This led to his ongoing career in national politics, eventually giving rise to his election to Congress, the first black Muslim to hold such an office. With insights into the famous leaders who have influenced him, Ellison passionately details the concepts that still divide America and offers suggestions on how the country can move beyond the color of a person's skin or religious belief to create a nation of the people, for the people.

The empowering words of an insightful American who has risen to a place in government where his actions can really make a difference.

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4516-6687-8
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Gallery Books/Karen Hunter Publishing
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2013


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