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Now Is Your Time! The African-American Struggle for Freedom

by Walter Dean Myers

Published by HarperCollins, 1991
ISBN: 0-06-024370-8

Ages 9 and older

Walter Dean Myers writes "Before you go forward, you must know where you have been." Myers' dynamic rendering of African-American history provides three distinct dimensions for such self-knowledge and progress: a general chronological summary, specific biographical accounts and a striking patchwork of personal ancestry. Throughout his overview of events and conditions of the enslavement of the African peoples, Myers interweaves compelling human stories. "What we understand of our history is what we understand of ourselves," he says, and so he interprets the necessary creation of the African-American extended family and the prevalence of certain means of expression within African-American life. The ringing conclusion challenges readers to think of African-Americans' past and present as those of a people fully deserving of rights and equally blessed with the gifts necessary for success. "I bring as much truth as I know," writes the author. Myers' account of the Plantation Society, his biography of the chief's son Abd al-Rahman Ibrathima, and his interpretation of the contributions of individuals such as Ida B. Wells exemplify the three-fold way this powerful 23-chapter book contributes new information, fresh insight and--ultimately--welcomes hope to all readers. Winner, 1991 CCBC Coretta Scott King Discussion for Writing.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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