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There Comes a Time: The Struggle for Civil…

There Comes a Time: The Struggle for Civil Rights (Landmark Books)

by Milton Meltzer

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This book discusses the struggle for Civil Rights over a much longer time period than other books on this topic. Starting with a chapter titled "We Don't Serve Negroes" which addresses the beginning of sit-ins, associated with the Civil Rights movement. However, the next chapter in the book is "They Came in Chains" which delves into the history of slavery and with it, slave resistance. From this chapter, the books chapter follow chronologically, and provide evidence of the struggle for Civil Rights from slavery to the end of the 1960's. More than half of the book focuses on the events of what is traditionally referred to as the Civil Rights Movement: the bus boycott in Montgomery, Sit-ins, freedom rides and public protest. Every chapter, even those before the sections covering the 1960's include an image of a fist, to symbolize the fight for Civil Rights throughout history.
Due to the length of time covered in this book, the focus is often broad, and even leaves some gaps. There are places where students would need to do research in order to better understand quick references to things such as Plessy v. Ferguson and Booker T. Washington. However, there are more detailed descriptions of people or particular events, through inserted information. There are several excerpts of Martin Luther King speeches and supporting information for the underlying concepts referred to in the text. While it could be argued that this book jumps too quickly and does not provide detailed enough information on any one topic, I think it is useful in its broadness. This book creates a timeline of events and relates them to one another. So often kids have trouble understanding history because they are not exposed to the slow progression. My fourth graders don't understand that slavery and the Civil Rights Movement were during much different time periods, because they have never been taught history in context. This book has an additional timeline in the back which further allows for an understanding of the progression of history.

I think this would be a good text to read front to back with high school students, but additional materials would be necessary. ( )
  kharding | Apr 23, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375804145, Paperback)

Historian, scholar, and award-winning author Milton Meltzer outlines the struggle of African Americans for "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, "starting with the landing of the first slave ships on colonial shores. How did over 300 years of slavery, segregation, and Jim Crow laws come to an end in the civil rights movement of the 1960s? What was achieved, and what are the problems still facing us today?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:05 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Presents an overview of the events in African American history that culminated in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s and represented a striving for equal rights.

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