cover image Unequal: A Story of America

Unequal: A Story of America

Michael Eric Dyson and Marc Favreau. Little, Brown, $18.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7595-5701-7

Dyson and Favreau examine significant moments of injustice and inequality throughout U.S. history in this crucial nonfiction volume, which posits that “the first step to changing the world... is to understand what has come before.” Blending stories of historic Black activists with those of today’s prominent movers and shakers, the creators shed light on the changemakers of America’s history and explore how inequality affects every aspect of society, from housing laws to healthcare. The authors “have a hard time imagining that anyone would want to make history illegal in the United States of America,” and use each chapter to highlight a historical event not often taught in classrooms, such as Ossian Sweet breaking the housing color line in 1925 Detroit, and James Meredith integrating the University of Mississippi in 1960. The creators also tie each historic moment to a contemporary counterpart, including Stacey Abrams fighting voter disenfranchisement, as well as legislation seeking to replace real-life history with “more patriotic views” in America’s curriculum. This searing look at attempts to block students “from learning the truth of inequality in the United States” encourages readers to acknowledge the deep-seated presence of structural racism in America. A must-read and a must-teach. Ages 12–up. Agent: Tanya McKinnon, McKinnon Literary. (May)