Miles to Go for Freedom: Segregation and Civil Rights in the Jim Crow Years

Linda Barrett Osborne. Abrams, $24.95 (128p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0020-0
Osborne continues her chronological exploration of the racial history of the United States, following Traveling the Freedom Road (2009) with a detailed and thought-provoking account of segregation, with specific focus on the tumultuous years between the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision (which came to establish the idea of “separate but equal”) and Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Osborne writtes that for the two decades following the passage of the 14th and 15th Amendments, “disfranchisement (not being allowed to vote) and rigid legal segregation did not exist.” Nevertheless, she explains, concerted efforts by Southern states led to the establishment of voting literacy tests and other changes to state-level voting laws, which aimed to counteract the gains made during Reconstruction, as well as the Jim Crow laws, which separated blacks and whites both physically and psychologically. Published in association with the Library of Congress, the book offers numerous captivating b&w photographs, first-person accounts of horrific violence and dehumanization, and descriptions of individual and collective defiance. A valuable and comprehensive perspective on American race relations. Ages 10–14. (Feb.)■
Reviewed on: 11/28/2011
Release date: 01/01/2012
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