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on October 20, 2010
**I do want to say that the review above me has absolutely nothing to do with the book. The argument of interracial schooling and how the AIDS virus came about have nothing to do with book, but issues the book glossed over as items in history.

The criticism is borderline racist, only because there is nothing in the book that argues the reviewer's point. So, she essentially decided to bring up these arguments for reasons that won't help anyone decide to buy this book or not.**

As for the review, this is a great 2-hour train read. There is a lot of information and tidbits that come up that will be new and exciting to read. It essentially is a chronological order of facts and situations that affected African-Americans within music, politics, economics, movements, education, entertainment, and lifestyle.

It won't go in depth with the stories and facts or present any criticism in favor or against aspects of black culture; it merely presents the facts as they came about during those times.

For example, one story talks of the ascension of a high-school basketball player who in 1980 dunks a basketball for the first time. The story ends with a quote from the 9th grader, who happens to be Michael Jeffrey Jordan.

The stories don't play into the future, and are no more than 2-3 paragraphs long. So what you get is a great microcosm for how the news and stories were viewed at the time and not in hindsight.

I recommend this book as it is has a bunch of great referential information and facts that you never get bored reading about. The slant is very journalistic, as a lot of the stories are supported by quotes and news references. Very haunting is how AIDS came about and how there was so little information for years after the first infection was spotted.

This isn't a book for you if you are looking for African-American critique. But if you are a history buff with a couple of free hours, this is well worth a pickup.
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on August 13, 2006
In February, 1969, a study titled "Black-White Contact in Schools: Its Social and Academic Effects" was published by Purdue University sociologist Martin Patchen. In it, he concludes "Available evidence indicates that interracial contact in schools does not have consistent positive effects on students' racial attitudes and behavior or on the academic prformance of minority students." In March, it was declared that the AIDS virus started in Africa and on the Caribbean island, Haita and spread to the United States via tourists. Get this! Susan Sontag decided in 1988 that "the virus was sent to Africa from the U.S. as an act of bacteriological warfare" as a conspiracy.

July, 1985, a survey conducted in New York City using the HIV antibody test finds that of frequent drug users, 87 percent carried the infection. The majority of the addicts were black and Hispanic. In August 1988, on Zachary's birthday, Jean-Michael Basquiat died in New York village of a heroin overdose at the age of 27 (Zach was 26 then). He was a graffiti artist whose pieces sold for $50,000 at the time of his death. There was a lot of debate about his artistic worth.

This book traverses the years 1979 to 1989 in America and is mostly about the singers and groups in the entertainment area but also writers which proliferated during that time. It is the time of affirmative action and Clarence Thomas who was married to a Causcasian woman but courted the office girls and almost lost his nomination. I watched it all on t.v. The girl took all the blame, and she was honest and above-board, blameless. The results of overcompensation has caused much turmoil for us all in America and some are deceitful by trying to pull the wool ober the eyes of political figures to the detriment of everybody.
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