A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
There's a massive amount of historical information in Making Our Way Home, as it covers the period from the post-U.S. Civil War Reconstruction era through 1979. A lengthy glossary at the end of the book includes numerous people, events, and organizations that may be unfamiliar to readers. Two inserts feature a timeline of "Events From 1861-1900" and "The Black Panther Party Platform and Program." For readers wanting to learn more, there's a bibliography that includes links to numerous websites the author used in her research.
Courage and tenacity can bring about great change.
Positive Role Models
There's hardly a page without a positive role model. Some may be well known to readers (Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., the Tuskegee Airmen, Thurgood Marshall), while they may be introduced to others (the Pullman porters who worked on America's railroads, teen Civil Rights activist Claudette Colvin, World War II hero Doris Miller, education advocate Mary McLeod Bethune) for the first time.
Violence & Scariness
Violence (some graphically described) against Black Americans -- lynchings and the torture that often accompanied them, the Tulsa Massacre, the lynching of Emmett Till, the beatings and murders of Freedom Riders and civil rights workers -- is a thread that runs throughout the book.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The book introduces readers to LGBTQ activists who fought not just against racism but also homophobia. Playwright Lorraine Hansberry (A Raisin in the Sun) and author James Baldwin brought the Black experience into the American mainstream. Marsha P. Johnson worked in the 1970s to advance the LGBTQ rights movement. Openly gay civil rights leader, Bayard Rustin, was an architect of the March on Washington and an organizer of the Freedom Riders.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Blair Imani's Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and the Black American Dream chronicles the journey of millions of Black Americans who fled the violence and racism of the South in search of better lives and the impact that migration would have on the politics, economy, and culture of America. Beginning in the years just after the Civil War and ending in the 1970s, Imani uses the stories of Black activists, politicians, entrepreneurs, writers, and musicians to explore issues still relevant today -- voting rights, housing discrimination, segregated schools, LGBTQ rights, and domestic terrorism. Although rarely described in graphic detail, violence (lynchings, mob violence, bombings, beatings, and murder) is a constant throughout the story. With a lively text filled with graphic novel like illustrations, this a great book for students and parents to read together.
Is It Any Good?
This captivating story of perseverance and courage brings to life an epic journey that transformed forever the culture, politics, and demographics of America. The massive amount of information in Making Our Way Home might intimidate all but the most avid history student, but the captivating illustrations give an almost graphic novel feel to the book, something that should intrigue even readers reluctant to tackle six decades of history.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.