An NAACP Image Award finalist
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A NYPL Best Book for Teens
History texts often teach that the United States has made a straight line of progress toward Black equality. The reality is more complex: milestones like the end of slavery, school integration, and equal voting rights have all been met with racist legal and political maneuverings meant to limit that progress. We Are Not Yet Equal examines five of these moments: The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with Jim Crow laws; the promise of new opportunities in the North during the Great Migration was limited when blacks were physically blocked from moving away from the South; the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 led to laws that disenfranchised millions of African American voters and a War on Drugs that disproportionally targeted blacks; and the election of President Obama led to an outburst of violence including the death of Black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri as well as the election of Donald Trump.
Including photographs and archival imagery and extra context, backmatter, and resources specifically for teens, this book provides essential history to help work for an equal future.
“A sobering primer on the myriad ways African American resilience and triumph over enslavement, Jim Crow and intolerance have been relentlessly defied by the very institutions entrusted to uphold our democracy.”—The Washington Post
“[A] powerful survey of American history as seen in the violent white reactions to black progress, from Reconstruction to the great migration to the current political landscape.”—Boston Globe
“[D]ocuments centuries of techniques designed to limit progress in the black community. Although some of the material may be upsetting, this is a book that should absolutely be included in the curriculum.”—School Library Connection (starred review)
“[A]n accessible narrative form, showing young people through pivotal historical events the ways in which white rage has been able to effectively undermine black-led social movements for equality and justice.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)