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Category Archives: books

History Roars Back: The Lions of Little Rock

When my daughter asked me to buy Kristin Levine’s The Lions of Little Rock (Puffin Books, 2013), she knew I’d say yes. What Levine has done is imagine what happened the year after the Little Rock Nine fought their way through 1957-58, and Ernest Green became the first African American to graduate from Central High […]

A Novel Takes Flight: The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd

When I was in graduate school studying U.S. history with a concentration in race relations and racial violence in the South, I remember making note of the names Sarah and Angelina Grimké, the antebellum abolitionist sisters from Charleston, South Carolina. Their story intrigued me: sisters of privilege who had turned against the system of enslavement […]

Fannie Lou Hamer

Firebrand civil and human rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer never minced words nor softened her stances for the comfort of her audience. From segregationist Mississippi Senator James O. Eastland to presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, she challenged leaders to live up to this country’s founding ideals and rebuked them when she smelled […]