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A 2012 Sibert Medal Honor Book
Posted September 23, 2014
The March on Birmingham evokes images of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leading thousands of people through the streets of a 1960's Birmingham, Alabama. Huge dogs barely contained by the law enforcement officials to whom they are entrusted. Fire hoses drawn, aimed, and shot—firing torrents of throbbing, rushing water into the crowd hurtling protesters several feet through the air, and chaos run amuck. Seldom, if ever, does Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth spring to mind. Though I grew up in the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, Montgomery, Alabama, before reading Black & White, I had never heard of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. Like many of you, I depended on the public school system to teach me all I needed to know of the the Civil Rights Movement and its leaders. However, had it not been for Fred Shuttlesworth, desegregation in Birmingham may have been months or even years away.
Raised in a home without running water or electricity, the notion of becoming a preacher struck Fred, the oldest of nine children, at an early age. After graduating near the top of his class, Fred began working with a group of doctors sterilizing needles. There he would meet his wife, Ruby. After moving his family to Mobile, Alabama, for better job opportunities, Fred joined Corinthian Baptist Church and soon began subbing for the pastor during his absence. Believing that he would impact multiple lives, Fred sought formal biblical training, earned a teaching degree, as well as, obtained a pastorate. Never one to be tolerant of inaction, Fred espoused a holistic philosophy blending an individual's spiritual needs with responsible citizenship, forming an inseparable mixture permanently severing all ties of either entity operating independent of the other.
Unlike Fred, Eugene "Bull" Connor, devoted himself to maintaining the prevailing social norms that had been dictating southern culture for generations. He possessed no qualms in resorting to volatile actions to put an end to the political agitation for racial equality. Frustrated by Fred's mission to upend Birmingham's social order, Bull vowed to stop Fred at all cost. Refusing to yield or even acknowledge the city's civil unrest was his undoing.
Black & White offers short biographies of both Fred Shuttlesworth and Bull Connor, then details the events leading to the culmination of the March on Birmingham and ultimately, city-wide desegregation. Black & White is a must-have for home, classroom, school, and public libraries. 4.5/5 Stars
Posted November 26, 2012
This is a great read for students in upper grade levels. I enjoyed this book because it shows students that associate civil rights movement with Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, but to see that there are others who were involved in seeking equality throughout America.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 25, 2012
I believe this book should be definitely recommended for upper grade schools. In my opinion this book was very interesting and informative. I think it was neat how the story went from telling facts from history to telling about the story of the Reverend and what his role was in the fight for black rights. one good thing about it was that it has an abundant of pictures which will keep the reader entertained, yet absorbing the reader with very interesting information.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 24, 2012
I thought this was a good book and there were good illustrations as well. This book could be a good book to read in a classroom of like 4-5th graders because it will show the background and lesson of inequality and the racial issue in the world before and now. I like that the characters in this book are real people and the author worked with them while writing the book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 9, 2012
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