All Is Never Said: The Story of Odette Harper Hines

Judith Rollins, Author
Judith Rollins, Author Temple University Press $61.5 (445p) ISBN 978-1-56639-307-2
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
Paperback - 445 pages - 978-1-56639-308-9
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This oral history of civil-rights activist Odette Harper Hines is not the usual account of sit-ins, marches, triumphs and tragedies--it offers a more intimate look in which Hines reveals many sides of her life as a daughter, sister, wife, mother and worker as well as activist. Hines was from a large, prosperous family in the Bronx, New York. Although there was no family history of community activism, Hines became involved in her early teens with the Abyssinian Baptist Church and later with the NAACP, the Red Cross, CORE and Headstart. Along the way she befriended such figures as Mary McLeod Bethune, Thurgood Marshall, Adam Clayton Powell, Marcus Garvey, Ralph Ellison and Claude McKay. It wasn't only her encounters with the great that shaped her life, however, and Hines doesn't shrink from mentioning the humiliations of racism she faced daily. What makes this such a striking and rich narrative is Hines's honesty. Most activists will not question the results of their work, but Hines does. She discusses her involvement in promoting school integration, then questions whether, given the resulting loss of jobs for good black teachers and persistent communication gap between white teachers and black children, it was good for the black community. Rollins relates Hines's story in a powerful yet entertaining style. By the end, readers will feel that not only have they met Hines--they know her. Illustrated. (May)
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