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Monday, January 31, 2011

While The World Watched by Carolyn Maull McKinstry with Denise George

This is a nonfiction book about growing up in the midst of the Civil Rights Era. Moreover, it's a very personal account of the injustice and violence that occurred to Blacks, as they were struggling for equal rights some one hundred years after the President Lincoln delcared them free. This is the personal account of a woman who when a child, was in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church when a bomb went off, in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.

The author describes the sorrow and pain of being in a near death situation and losing four of her friends in the bomb that exploded in her church. The author's world was turned upside down, as her church was a place of saftety and sanctuary for her. Now, she realized there was no safe haven. The author describes how it was normal for bombs to go off in black neighborhoods, but in the church?! The author openly describes her feelings and life that changed forever after her church was bombed, in 1963.

The author describes the Jim Crow laws, the inequality between whites and blacks and the struggle for Civil Rights. Having participated in a March that was organized by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the author has front line experience that reveals just what it was like to be black in Birmingham, Alabama, and the entire South. The struggle for desegregation in public schools is also described. Definitley, a sad time for our country.

The author includes exerpts of speeches that describe the values taught by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as Preident John F. Kennedy's determination to change our country so that all, regardless of race, are truly equal. This book is a personal and candid exploration of the Civil Rights movement. It is not simply a historical account, which makes the book truly unique.

I highly recommend this book for everyone and I believe it should be required reading for all high school students.

Tyndale House Publishers sent me a complimentary copy of this book for me to review. This in no way influenced my review.

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