They Had a Dream: The Civil Rights Struggle from Frederick Douglass to Marcus Garvey to Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The most recent installment in the Epoch Biographies series opens with a historical outline of the African American struggle for equality in this country, from colonial times to the present. If this report is somewhat dry and heavy going for the targeted audience, the four biographical sketches that follow are considerably more absorbing. Archer weaves dialogue and excerpts from speeches and writings into his thorough accounts of the private and public lives of Frederick Douglass, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. As he compares and contrasts these leaders' philosophies and tactics, Archer emphasizes that, regardless of the different eras in which they lived, each encountered the same appalling prejudice, violence and oppression. Despite some sloppy editing (references are made to ``Newport, Massachusetts'' and ``Nantucket, Rhode Island''), this discussion of the contributions of four pivotal civil rights activists is balanced and substantive, and the conclusion, which touches on Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas, Sister Souljah and Bill Clinton, is not only timely but persuasive. Ages 10-up. (Aug.)
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-Black history in America began in 1619 with the importation of 20 Africans as bound servants. It has continued through the centuries, and is vividly reflected here in the lives of the four men of the title. Even though all were remarkable individuals, Archer takes into account their human frailties and depicts them as believable figures. A first and final chapter fill in the eras of American black history not covered in the biographies. The injustice inflicted on people of African descent in America is described in some biting words throughout the text. Some controversial statements are undocumented and may leave readers skeptical or misinformed. For example, Abraham Lincoln is depicted as a racist; George Bush is repeatedly accused of running a racist campaign in 1988. While Archer writes in a fluent, sophisticated, but readable style, this flaw will limit the book's use as a resource for reports.- Marilyn Long Graham, Lee County Library System, Fort Myers, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670844944
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/21/1993
  • Series: Epoch Biographies Series
  • Pages: 272
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.77 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 1.15 (d)

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