Source: I received a copy for my classroom from the author
I received a copy from the author for my classroom. I am always looking for quality books for my middle school classroom. This is a book I am proud to put on my shelves. This is the story of Barbara Rose Johns. She was a courage, young black girl, growing up in segregated America. She chose to make a difference. She didn't listen when people said no, or you can't do anything. So why had I not heard of her before? Barbara chose not to stay in the limelight once she set things in motion. There is so much I don't know about the Civil Rights Movement. As a teacher I am well aware that back in the 1950's black and white schools were not equal. They didn't receive the same quality buildings, books or other necessities. Growing up white in a family that never mentioned skin color, I was oblivious to the issues of racism. I grew up in the country, but the town where we shopped was very prejudiced. I remember the fountains on the sidewalk and being pulled away because of signs on them my mother refused to let me read. Her response was, you don't need a drink right now, we are going to get a treat and have a soda. That was something I got once or twice a year when on vacation. I didn't understand what racism was until my sister went away to college and her dorms were caught in the middle of a race riot. It wasn't taught in my school. I'd never gone to school with a black kid until I moved to Florida in my sophomore year. I didn't understand what the big deal was that my best friend was black. I was lucky in many ways. My mind was not poisoned.
Barbara Johns saw the inequality because her school, unlike the white school were just wooden structures covered with heavy paper and coated with tar. They were leaky and very cold. When Barbara decided to make the issue known, she didn't get the results she thought she would. She managed to call an assembly where she dismissed the adults because she didn't want them to get in trouble. When she wrote to the NAACP for help they refused to help them get a new school built. Instead they wanted total integration. This was not what she had started out trying to accomplish. I became so enraged with the attitudes of the whites within the pages of this book. I guess if you never grew up hating a race of people it is often hard to believe that others could be so ignorant. I am sure there are many that would read this review and be angered at me. But, that is okay. I am proud to share and promote this book to my students. Barbara's strike took place before we ever heard of Martin Luther King. It is important that ALL students learn that there were other people out there just as important as MLK. Most importantly it is very important that they learn that no matter how young they are, they can make a difference in the world. They need to learn they can't do it by sitting by watching and keeping their mouth closed. This is the second book I have read by this author and I love her work. I am proud to promote her work. Look for more reviews of her books by me.