Cogent and stirring, this very readable book focuses on the Jim Crow era, that period between 1896 and 1954, a shameful time in U.S. history framed by two landmark Supreme Court cases.
From the time of Plessy v. Ferguson, in which the Court sanctioned “separate but equal,” until Brown v. Board of Education, a case that found school segregation unconstitutional, African-Americans, even post-slavery, were subjected to injustice, brutality, humiliation and discrimination in education, housing, employment and government and military service. Osborne expertly guides readers through this painful, turbulent time of segregation, enabling them to understand fully the victims’ struggles and triumphs as they worked courageously to set things right. The seamless narrative benefits from handsome design: Accompanying the author’s excellent text, which is illuminated by many quotes, are superb contemporary photos, set into the text, scrapbook-style, and other primary-source documents from the archives of the Library of Congress. The visuals and captions add much to readers’ comprehension of the period, the difficulties African-Americans endured and their hard-won victories.
Readers will come away moved, saddened, troubled by this stain on their country’s past and filled with abiding respect for those who fought and overcame. (timeline, notes, bibliography, note on sources) (Nonfiction. 11-14)