Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African American Voting Rights – Lawrence Goldstone

Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African American Voting Rights – Lawrence Goldstone, Scholastic Focus, 9781338323481, 2020

Format: Paperback

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

What did you like about the book?: As you read through the book it is clear and evident how the content addressed is in this book although it highlights the beginning of voter suppression in the US, it is content that is needed now. The book takes us through the creation of laws and policies that impacted African Americans from accessing their right to vote. It breaks it down in language that is easily digestible. The first chapter begins with the Constitutional Convention in 1787 in Philadelphia. I appreciated the fact that the author included stories that even as an African American studies minor in college I never heard about in reference to this history. For example, when John Adams during a convention session stated that only landowners should have the right to vote. The pictures that are included in the book are historical archival photos such as a picture of the Wilmington vigilantes that burned down Alex Manly’s newspaper or a Republican newspaper ad predicting that there will be devastation for African Americans “if the army is pulled out of the South” during the war. Although this book highlights past moments in history it is a glaring highlight of why, during these days in 2020, African Americans are fighting the battle of a lifetime. The fight to be equal for African Americans is not new and this book takes us every step of the way in showing us the long history of the suppression of a group of people. This text should be used in conjunction with textbooks in all U.S. History courses for high school aged students. It also includes more intimate details of different events that happened across the country. Typically textbooks just record the facts and may have some additional information – this text, however, combines the two. 

Anything you didn’t like about it?: This is not particularly for this book but I would love to read a follow up book about the correlation to voting suppression today. I believe this is a text that could be used very effectively in a high school Civics class or even a U.S. History class. 

To whom would you recommend this book?: Students  ages 15 – 18  

Who should buy this book?: High schools and public libraries

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?: Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Rose Metayer, Boston Latin School, Boston MA 

Date of review: 7/10/2020

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