Children's LiteratureAmerica proclaims itself to be a democracy based upon the individual rights of its citizens. Yet, for centuries, millions of African-Americans lived, worked, and died in bondage. After their liberation the Civil War, a series of grotesque laws were enacted to strip African-Americans of their voting and human rights. Then, after a century of further oppression, African-Americans gradually developed a movement that was aimed at capturing the basic human rights entitled to each and every citizen of the American Republic. This civil rights movement is delineated in Sirimarco's touching and informative chapter in the "American Voices From" series. In The Civil Rights Movement Sirimarco catalogs the major events and personalities of that movement. Sirimarco pulls no punches in both her narrative and in the primary source documents that serve as the cement for this well built work. Readers will be confronted by the violence imposed upon both African-Americans in general and those people, both white and black, who participated in the civil rights movement. To read about police brutality, the beating of freedom riders, or the way African-Americans were lynched is difficult. However, through knowledge comes understanding and the capacity for change. In this fine book, readers will encounter both a moving subject and a skillful rendition of it. 2005, Benchmark Books, Ages 12 up.
Greg M. Romaneck