Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow
Dark Sky Rising is ambitious book that covers the Civil War, Reconstruction, the erosion of the newly gained rights of African Americans, and the organization and fight to regain those rights in the early 1900s. The use of photographs, period posters, and direct quotations of people help make the text come alive.
The strongest chapters are the middle ones, which cover Reconstruction and Jim Crow laws. They are detailed and include historical figures we already know, such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, and ones we should know, such as Ida B. Wells and “Old Pap.”
The beginning and ending chapters are weaker. They read more like a history book, filled with names and facts, but lacking in-depth stories, which might be more attractive to young readers.
I learned a lot reading this book. I don’t think Reconstruction and the Jim Crow laws that followed are usually studied in this much depth, which is a mistake. This is an important time period. I was struck by many similarities between those times and events of today.
Chapters from this book would work well as supplemental reading in a middle school or upper elementary history classroom. I would also recommend it to anyone who is interested in the history of Civil Rights in America.
|Author||Henry Louis Gates Jr. • Tonya Bolden|
|Page Count||240 pages|
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