A Place at the Table: Struggles for Equality in America

A Place at the Table: Struggles for Equality in America

by Maria Fleming, Southern Poverty Law Center
     
 

Inspiring and true, A Place at the Table chronicles the lives of American freedom fighters whose stories are little-known, but whose efforts have paved the way for equality and justice in the face of extreme prejudice. Unsung heroes and their brave deeds, such as house slave Elizabeth Freeman's momentous court battle winning her freedom, suffragette Sara Bard Field

Overview

Inspiring and true, A Place at the Table chronicles the lives of American freedom fighters whose stories are little-known, but whose efforts have paved the way for equality and justice in the face of extreme prejudice. Unsung heroes and their brave deeds, such as house slave Elizabeth Freeman's momentous court battle winning her freedom, suffragette Sara Bard Field's cross-country journey for women's rights, and Nisqually Indian Billy Frank Jr.'s fight for Native American land rights, toppled barriers in education, voting, employment, housing, and other areas of discrimination. A rousing history of American champions of justice, A Place at the Table is filled with men and women who, when told by society to "stay in their place," insisted that "their place" was at the American table as full-fledged participants in democracy.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Four of the twelve sections of this anthology were written by the editor, and all deal with little-known chapters in the long history of the fight for various human rights. The Native Americans are not represented by the famous Sitting Bull but rather by Chief Standing Bear of the Ponca, who peaceably stood for return of his people to their lands, and the Northwest tribal salmon fisherman, who persevered long enough for the U.S. government to grant them fishing rights on their own rivers once again. Some of the other battles covered deal with religious freedom; equality for African Americans, Latinos and Japanese Americans; equal access for the handicapped; women's suffrage and Title IX rights; gay rights; and industrial labor laws. It is refreshing to read of so many unsung heroes and heroines with only incidental coverage for the well-known names. A good choice for schools, libraries and history lovers. 2002, Oxford, $28.00. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Judy Chernak
VOYA
The opening words of the Declaration of Independence—"that all men are created equal"—have formed the basis of United States ideals for more than two hundred years, but they ring hollow and untrue for many Americans. Episodes of racism, segregation, religious intolerance, homophobia, and inequities for persons with disabilities, women seeking voting privileges, and laborers wanting safe working conditions have permeated the nation's history. Fleming compiles articles written by various authors about the struggle for equality in America. Each article details the period, location, and main characters of lesser-known events. Most Americans have heard of the Montgomery Bus Boycott begun by Rosa Parks in 1955 when she refused to give up her seat to a white man, but there was a similar occurrence in 1870 Louisville, Kentucky, with segregation of the Louisville Trolley. Another action in the fight against segregated transportation took place in New York City in 1854 when Elizabeth Jennings, after being thrown off the trolley, sued to end segregation of that city's public transportation system. The twelve articles in this volume are informative and have numerous eyewitness accounts. Photographs and other memorabilia are interspersed with the articles. This resource will appeal to teens because it does not read like a standard book. The visual interaction of various documents and photographs provide a feast of information. Index. Illus. Photos. Biblio. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2001,Oxford University Press, 152p. PLB $28. Ages 11 to 18. Reviewer: Mercedes Smith SOURCE: VOYA, February 2002 (Vol. 24, No.6)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-After reading this collection of 12 essays, one begins to wonder why it is that in a country dedicated to freedom and equal rights for all, so many of our citizens have been marginalized. Many people believe that religious tolerance was a part of our early heritage; but what of the Baptists who were imprisoned in the 1700s for preaching their beliefs? Rosa Parks is now a household name, but how many students know about Elizabeth Jennings? A full century before Parks, Jennings sued and won a case after she defied a conductor, boarded a "whites-only" trolley car, and was forcibly evicted. The Trail of Tears is well known, but what of the Ponca tribe, divided by government cruelty? From ethnic persecution (including Asian, Mexican-American) to rights for gays, lesbians, and the disabled, this compilation includes lesser-known, often unsung heroes and heroines who fought for their rights. Funded by the Teaching Tolerance project, this volume is part of a larger packet of materials aimed at teaching students respect for others. Well illustrated with original photos and reproductions of documents that reinforce the powerful message of the text, A Place at the Table is a must-read for classes studying American history, government, politics, or law. It is also a valuable addition for schools and libraries looking to add multicultural materials to their collections.-Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195150360
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
02/28/2002
Pages:
152
Product dimensions:
11.10(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >