We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide | Book Review
The Children’s Book Review | June 19, 2019
Written by Carol Anderson with Tonya Bolden
Age Range: 14 and up
Publisher: Bloomsbury (2018)
What to Expect: History, Civil Rights, Activism, Social Commentary.
Carol Andersen’s White Rage has been immensely influential with adult audiences, and in society in general, but there is no denying that it covers some controversial and disturbing ground. Too often, these topics are watered down or avoided altogether when it comes to younger readers, so it is absolutely fantastic to see this adaptation of such a hard-hitting volume specifically for a young adult readership. Adapted by award-winning young adult author Tonya Bolden, We Are Not Yet Equal directly engages the passion and enthusiasm demonstrated by so many young people in the past few years.
We Are Not Yet Equal provides a historical exploration of five key moments in American history where hope for the advance of civil rights was squashed by a backlash of racial hatred and institutionally sanctioned inequality. It begins by showing how the hope that followed the end of the Civil War was met by the Jim Crow Laws, how African Americans were physically blocked during the Great Migration from accessing opportunities in the North, how Brown v. the Board of Education was countered by the mass shut-down of Southern public schools, and how the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of the 1960s were followed by a war on drugs which viciously profiled African Americans. Finally, the volume moves into modern times to describe how the hope instilled by the election of Obama was followed by racial violence and, ultimately, the racism tacitly sanctioned by the Trump administration. Andersen and Bolden are unflinching in their portrayal of the truths of racial division in the United States, and hold no punches for their young audience. The volume is commendable in the trust it places in young readers to understand and grapple with a bleak social truth, and in its recognition that only through truth can change be effected.
About the Authors
Carol Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University. She is the author of many books and articles, including Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960 andEyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights: 1944-1955. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Tonya Bolden is a critically acclaimed award-winning author/co-author/editor of more than two dozen books for young people. They include Crossing Ebeneezer Creek, which received five starred reviews; Finding Family which received two starred reviews and was a Kirkus Reviews and Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year; Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl, a Coretta Scott King honor book and James Madison Book Award winner; MLK: Journey of a King, winner of a National Council of Teachers of English Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children; Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty, an ALSC Notable Children’s Book, CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, and winner of the NCSS Carter G. Woodson Middle Level Book Award. Tonya also received the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC’s Nonfiction Award. A Princeton University magna cum laude baccalaureate with a master’s degree from Columbia University, Tonya lives in New York City.
For more information, visit: www.tonyaboldenbooks.com
We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide, written by Carol Anderson with Tonya Bolden, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with African American, American History, Civil Rights, Non-Fiction, and Tonya Bolden.
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