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James Donaldson’s Book Review – The Race Beat: The Press, The Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation by Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff

The Race BeatThis was truly a fantastic book! I always enjoy learning about things I don’t know much about already. I didn’t know that there was such a prevalence of black press newspapers/magazines back in the 30s/40s in the history of the United States. And the rift/differences that existed between the black press and the white press.

This book gave me a whole new perspective on the civil rights movement. Because it was written by journalists who had up close and personal encounters with people who were actually involved with the movement. Inside stories, dealing with personalities, and so many of the great characters throughout the civil rights movement that we have come to know about.

The book started back in the integration/segregation years when schools were forced to start accepting black students. The book also covers the history of Martin Luther King Jr., his assassination, the Vietnam War years where the country obviously started shifting focus from the civil-rights unrest at home, to fight in wars abroad.

The last chapter was very interesting because it was about “whatever happened to them now.” (A more in-depth profile of the various personalities and characters throughout the civil-rights era.

As we saw in the recent uprisings in the United States in 2015, the unrest for civil rights, equal treatment under the law, incarceration rates, etc., continues to be the steady drumbeat throughout the social fabric of the United States.


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