Sunday, May 22, 2016

REVIEW: Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins by Carole Boston Weatherford, with illustrations by Jerome Lagarrigue

*** (3) out of 5 stars

I'm not partial to this type of artwork where everything just looks blurry and out of focus (like I forgot to put my glasses on before viewing), which is the main reason I didn't give this book a higher rating. 

But the story itself, about the sit-ins and other civil disobedience begun at the Woolworth's lunch counter by four young men in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 1st, 1960, and told from the perspective of an 8-year-old black girl, was very moving and very informative.  I wonder how many children and teens - or even adults - in our society today even know who are the Greensboro Four. 

The struggles experienced by the main characters of the story - not being allowed to use certain public facilities (i.e. lunch counters, water fountains, and especially bathrooms) - simply because of the color of their skin, are so poignant because of similar fights being waged today by others because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. 

I was especially happy that the book included references to those who had nothing to gain and much to lose by supporting the Greensboro Four and their efforts - such as the old white lady who told them loudly how proud she was of them.  And those caught in the middle who (probably like the majority of people at the time) didn't have strong feelings either way but were just trying to do their job and get along under the prevailing system - such as the waitress at the lunch counter who had to refuse them service. 

Definitely a book I would recommend to those wanting to learn, and a simple and straight-forward way, more about the happenings of the time.

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