The 1950s were a time when segregation and unjust laws divided our nation. Supples gives the background of events that lead up to the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement and provides a capsulized view of people, places, and events that changed the course of our nation. He covers the problems and leaders that emerged as a result of the struggle. The most important issue that he stresses is the effort to achieve equality through the courts, through non-violent behavior and voting. Although most African Americans followed the non-violent philosophy, there were some who turned to Malcolm X, who rejected integration and wanted to establish a separate nation. Including the two choices gives a true picture of what was going on during the period 1950-1964. 2006, National Geographic Society, Ages 8 to 12.
Gr 4-6-The first title moves from a cursory overview of the post-Reconstruction South through the Harlem Renaissance to the Great Depression. Unfortunately, the migration to New York and resulting Harlem Renaissance are addressed above all other topics, and the trends depicted in a map of the population gains and losses of states during the Great Migration are not explained in the accompanying text. Speaking Out illustrates the origins of the Civil Rights Movement in Jim Crow laws, the start of the NAACP, and the end of World War II to the ultimate division between philosophies as seen through Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X. The simple text is punctuated by high-quality photographs and bolstered by quotes from important figures discussed on that page. However, while the text is accessible and the artwork evocative, the treatment is oversimplified at times. Ruby Bridges, for example, is not mentioned at all, freedom riders are only seen in a caption, and while it is noted that Malcolm X's life "changed in jail," his religious conversion is not mentioned. While these titles clearly fill a gap for middle-grade titles on events relating to African-American history, they provide only an introduction. Researchers in need of further information or a more gripping description of the realities of either movement will require meatier texts. While few comparable resources about the Great Migration exist, students doing research on civil rights will find Diane McWhorter's A Dream of Freedom (Scholastic, 2004) more substantial.-Jill Heritage Maza, Conn Elementary, Raleigh, NC Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Part of the new Crossroads America nonfiction series, this volume is a good introduction to the Civil Rights movement. Supples describes many of the essential people, places and events in brief sections: Thurgood Marshall, Brown v. Board of Education, the Little Rock Nine, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, the sit-ins and more. The entries are simply summaries, mini-reports useful to young readers in their own report writing, and are sometimes superficial. The entry on Rosa Parks, for instance, repeats the legend that "she was tired," having been on her feet all day, when, in fact, she was a committed activist, tired of living in a racist society. Still, this is a clearly written, attractive introduction, full of classic photographs and important quotations. A good starting point. Diane McWhorter's A Dream of Freedom (2004) can take young readers further. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)