From School Library Journal
Grade 5 Up?With his knack for blending historical facts and thoughtful interpretation, Haskins offers an informative, close-up look at the course of black education in America. From colonial times to the present day, the text chronicles federal and state legislation, judicial rulings, and Supreme Court decisions that have both crippled and enhanced educational opportunities for African Americans. Although the 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education legally ended the "separate but equal" doctrine that had prevailed in the United States since the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, activists in recent years still see inequality in public education that integration and busing have not erased. This factual account is enriched by biographical profiles of influential blacks and whites and by vivid descriptions of inequities, case studies, and trials. The social context and effects of legislation?from 18th-century slave codes, post-Civil War "Jim Crow" laws, and 20th-century civil rights challenges?are presented. This title fills a void in collections lacking nonfiction on public-school segregation and integration in America for this audience. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions of varying quality appear throughout. The well-spaced text, chronology of key events, selected lists for further reading, and index are effectively designed for research and readability.?Gerry Larson, Durham Magnet Center, Durham, NC
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 7^-10. Haskins begins with the dramatic confrontation at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957, and then goes back to trace the history of the African American struggle for equal rights to education, from the enforced illiteracy of slavery times to the present debate about affirmative action. In considerable detail, he discusses landmark cases, including those in South Carolina, Kansas, Delaware, and Virginia, and he presents the beliefs of such leaders as W. E. B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. The style is sometimes dull, but the facts speak volumes, especially the statistics about the grossly different amounts spent on black and on white schools. Occasional photographs document the inequalities and the people who have struggled to change them. There's a useful chronology and a bibliography, but no footnotes. Hazel Rochman