Here's a recommendation for a new and very readable book in the Kalamazoo Public Library children's section. Read Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow. Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is a much lauded scholar for his vast contribution to the understanding of history and American culture. You may know him from the PBS genealogy program Finding Your Roots. Gates wrote the book with Tonya Bolden, the award-winning author of many excellent books for young people.
The development of racist laws in the Jim Crow era along with murderous violence and property taking perpetrated as instruments of white supremacy are highest on the list of the worst kind of human behavior. As grim as aspects of this history certainly are, this book is ultimately uplifting, with stories of perseverance in the face of oppression. The final illustration in the book is a lovely group picture of a class of preschoolers in Topeka, Kansas, captioned "Faces of the Future 1899".
About Dark Sky Rising, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and National Book Award winning author Jacqueline Woodson writes, "Brilliant and more necessary now than ever before. This is a book that should be on
every bedside table and in every classroom in America. It’s a history that belongs to all
of us. In Gates’s and Bolden’s hands, it is a deeply comprehensive, beautifully illustrated,
and moving narrative of survival.”