THE CHILDREN OF THE SOUTH by Margaret Anderson

THE CHILDREN OF THE SOUTH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

How can a teacher watch children struggle and not be concerned?"" The Negro children of the South, to whom this book is dedicated, have a special friend in Margaret Anderson, who was teaching at the Clinton, Tennessee high school the day the children of Foley Hill ""came down"" in 1956. She is teaching there today. The desegregation started peaceably enough, but Clinton was not permitted to go without the outside interference of terrorists such as Kasper who roused the white community, and the woman in white who told one of Mrs. Anderson's children, ""There is another kind of law,"" a law that was put into practice one quiet Sunday morning when the school was bombed to bits. This is all in Mrs. Anderson's story, a story in which the children come first. There was Roberta, for whom the ""city of light"" ended in the darkness of despair over overwhelming poverty and responsibilities at home; but there is also Annie, who found what there was for her when she sang to an assembly throng, Donna who found she could become a nurse, and Robyn, who accepted a pointed disappointment with magnanimity and grew in stature, going on to Berea and potential leadership. Mrs. Anderson finds the Negro child different, living in a state of marginality with problems that are the product of a social order not of his making. ""The new South is ready to be born"" and Mrs. Anderson is right there to help it along. Her book should broaden the ""horizon of the heart"" in many readers who will want to know the new faces in the classroom.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1966
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux