Freedom's River: The African-American Contribution to Democracy

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Covers events in U.S. history from the American Revolution to the Voting Rights Act of the 1980s and reveals how each African-American struggle for liberation has also expanded the rights of all Americans.
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Overview

Covers events in U.S. history from the American Revolution to the Voting Rights Act of the 1980s and reveals how each African-American struggle for liberation has also expanded the rights of all Americans.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Steele attempts to trace the development of American constitutional democracy through the African American experience. This is something of a thematic reversal: many existing titles inherently present African American history as a series of responses to political and social developments, as opposed to Steele's somewhat revisionist (and refreshing) view that African Americans have conscientiously helped forge the society we live in today by being politically active from the beginning. The author has succeeded in presenting complicated information relating to the composition of the constitution; to the economic, geographic, and social causes of the Civil War; to the inequities of Reconstruction; and to the accomplishments of the civil rights movement. Unfortunately, the premise and occasionally the coherence of this volume is marred by Steele's bombastic writing style. His overwriting will cause some students to stop reading (and cause those of us familiar with Joseph Heller's Catch-22 to echo ex-PFC Wintergreen's mutter, ``prolix, prolix!''). Nonetheless, this title will be useful to researchers.-Kellie Flynn, St. Teresa High School, Decatur, IL
Jeanne Triner
Part of the African-American Experience series, this presents the fight for equality from the time of the American Revolution through the Vietnam War. Rather than focusing on the contributions of individual African American leaders, Steele provides an astute political history of the driving forces behind suppression as well as liberation and, in doing so, advances the premise that the true contribution of the African American struggle has been the awakening of the American conscience and the resultant expansion of the rights of all Americans. Well researched, clearly organized, and smoothly and intelligently written, the book makes an important contribution to scholarship on this topic for young adults. The 20 black-and-white photos are clustered in the center, leaving the text uninterrupted, and the material is challenging enough that only the best readers, or those with an intense interest, will read it cover to cover. However, there is a good index and each of the chapters can stand on its own, making this a valuable reference source for a variety of history, social studies, and government projects.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780531111840
  • Publisher: Scholastic Library Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/1/1994
  • Series: African-American Experience Series
  • Edition description: 37100 Scholastic Library
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.43 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 0.85 (d)

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