Saturday, March 28, 2020

Dark Sky Rising by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. - ADVISABLE

Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 240 pages.  NON-FICTION. Focus (Scholastic), 2019.  $20.  

Content: Language: PG (3 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG-13. 



After the Civil War, the white South decided to keep their ideologies although they had lost the war.  Directly after the war, African Americans were excited to live freely, and they quickly involved themselves in their communities through leadership and counsels.  In response, the racist Southerners enacted laws of segregation and exemption that suppressed the African Americans’ freedom. The strength, courage and hope of those who led are highlighted throughout this book.  

For all of the Civil War books out there, this is unique and highlights the perspective of African Americans and the Reconstruction time period.  The chronology of events is covered in short summaries and runs from the end of slavery through Reconstruction and on to the Jim Crow time period.  This would be great to use in a history class, even if used in parts, for that often- rushed teaching of Reconstruction.  I love reading a new perspective and Gates does an amazing job pulling the reader in and celebrating African Americans fight for freedom.   The content includes mentioning lynching’s, rape, beatings and murders.  

Reviewer, C. Peterson.

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