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A Stronger Kinship: One Town's Extraordinary Story of Hope and Faith
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A Stronger Kinship: One Town's Extraordinary Story of Hope and Faith

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  84 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Starting in the 1860s, the people of Covert, Michigan, broke laws and barriers to attempt what then seemed impossible: to love one's neighbor as oneself. This is the inspiring, true story of an extraordinary town where blacks and whites lived as equals.
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 6th 2006 by Little, Brown and Company
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Mar 27, 2015 IzzyISH rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My book club chose this as our February selection, and what an interesting read it was. Ms. Cox was able to share what was going on before, during and after the Civil War via personal accounts - diaries, oral histories and records. Covert is a little town in Michigan that was able to put all prejudice aside and fully integrate their town: students sat side-by-side in the classroom, neighbors helped neighbors, and even blacks were elected into high office during that time period. While abolitioni ...more
Lindsay Lewis
Aug 31, 2014 Lindsay Lewis rated it really liked it
Fascinating historical account of a racially integrated town post-Civil War era...

I've owned this book for a few years now, but in light of #Ferguson and other recent events it was truly the time to read this. There is so much about race in this era that is sadly, exactly reflective of 2014. By the end, the book highlights the weight of our choices, not so much as to the "why" this town chose to integrate while the rest of the country was drowning in racial turmoil, but the "why not" for the res
The town of Covert, Michigan was deliberately (and in some cases, illegally) integrated from around the time of its founding in the mid-19th century. This is an enlightening book, and I enjoyed the particular stories of families and individuals, and the comparisons with events in other parts of the midwest and the country. The writing is a little awkward - I felt that the author was trying to write for a general audience but would probably have been more comfortable with a more scholarly approac ...more
Mar 05, 2014 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It would be wonderful if our entire country could get along like the people in this book. You have to have people who believe that all men are really created equal. This community was not far from our home and it is non-fiction. It is too bad that even after the Civil War when African Americans fought on the side of the North, they were still lynched and discriminated against in the North as well as the South. The book was interesting but I had a little trouble keeping everyone straight. It seem ...more
Jun 18, 2014 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an unusual piece of history! This is a straight forward academic history of a little town in Michigan named Covert where free blacks and whites lived side by side. Why did such an integrated town survive and thrive in the time right after the Civil War? I think it's because a certain number of people there, black and white, had the integrity, skill, and character to make it so.
Lit FanGrl
Feb 26, 2010 Lit FanGrl rated it it was ok
I was torn with this one. I really wanted to like it because the subject matter was something that interests me greatly. The book started off strong, but kind of fizzled mid way through for me. I would have liked it more if Cox was able to get more personal anecdotes. Granted most of the town's original settlers were long gone by the time Cox began writing her book, but I'm sure some of their descendants were still in town. I'm also sure that there had to have been stories passed down throughout ...more
Although parts of the book were a bit confusing and hard to follow, I'm so glad I read it. This book opened my eyes to racism and integration in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in a world so different than the one in which I live.
Treavor Wagoner
Dec 19, 2013 Treavor Wagoner rated it liked it
Overall, it was an informative read. I got what I asked for towards the end with the case between Sheridan and John—something personal and focused. Granted, the book is not about a graduating lawsuit but stories like those that are focused would've helped me sink my teeth in better.

When I started the book, I was enlightened but in the portion of the book where African-Americans migrated to Covert, I got a little lost because of the many families and individuals being mentioned without too much
Shay Briggs-sternaman
While Cox does a great job of interpreting court documents and old photos, a lot of what she does is make assumptions about the past, which I suppose, is really what all historians do. She uses a lot of "this must have" statements which leads me to think that a lot of what she reports is speculation. Being a resident of the area, I appreciate the attempt at adding to our cultural history, but I feel as if the text leaves a lot to be desired. I wish she would have included some of the many photos ...more
Jan 28, 2009 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Astounding. The author writes a very readable book on the history of a small town in Michigan that fully integrated themselves (illegally) in the late 1800s, after the Civil War. And they never left this course. If you've ever wondered what life would have been like without Jim Crow laws and the Ku Klux Klan, this is one hopeful history that really happened!

A Stronger Kinship
Mar 05, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally finished this book, after stopping and starting many times to read book club books in between. I really enjoyed reading about the early triumphs (late 1800's)of the African-American people in Covert, MI (just south of my hometown). Many of the triumphs seemed business as usual and that race was not a consideration or even a thought. Truly interesting to learn about the integration of the people when the rest of the nation was building to segregation, with terrible violence against anyone ...more
Aug 18, 2013 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had never heard of this small farming town named Covert Michigan. It was unique in that it that embraced racial integration after the Civil War. The town settlers included many African Americans Civil War veterans who prospered along with their white neighbors. Churches and schools were integrated, and African Americans were elected into key positions. Its a great little known history in my home state, and I highly recommend htis.
Aug 14, 2013 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A remarkable book about an even more remarkable community in Michigan. This is the story of the town of Covert, Michigan, where black and white lived in harmony, before and during the Civil War Years. I had the pleasure of meeting the author of this book, when she came to our library on a tour of Michigan's Notable books. Her book evolved from her graduate work, and she was passionate about the story of this unusual town.
Mary Ellen
Jul 12, 2009 Mary Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I probably should have only given it a three because I would not re read it or anything but I wouldn't want someone to not read it for the rating reason. It is more the subject matter that might not appeal to someone as it deals with the history of blacks in America from the Civil war forward. I found it very interesting and eyeopening on a number of fronts.
Diane Corradini
Jun 20, 2016 Diane Corradini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, michigan
A fascinating history of Covert, Michigan and how they became an integrated community before the Civil War and have remained so, where blacks and whites owned land, farmed, logged, lived side by side, held office and treated each other as equals. Really well-researched and an interesting portrayal of the town and its history.
Kent District Library
Join us for a friendly, informal discussion and good company. This month's selection is A Stronger Kinship: One Town’s Extraordinary Story of Hope and Faith by Anna-Lisa Cox. For adults. Book discussion will take place at Kent District Library's Nelson Township/Sand Lake Branch on April 13th, 2016 from 1:30-2:30 pm.
Sep 05, 2008 Heather rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Heather by: Saw it on the library shelf
It is amazing to me to think how different our society would be today if the openness and friendship that was fostered in this one small town had been the norm throughout the wider US society in the period after the Civil War. This book should be required reading in US History classes in our K-12 education system.
Nedra Bennett
I had no idea such a totally integrated community existed and I mirror the author's closing question - If such a community could exist in the 1800's, why not today.
Jan 01, 2014 Marge rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book read too much like a textbook for me, but the concept of blacks and whites living so well together in Covert was very good for discussion.
Mar 11, 2009 Ginger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book club selection. Kinda textbooky but I still loved hearing the MI history of such a postive movement.
Wisteria Leigh
non-fiction,African Americans,race relations,local history,Covert Michigan,19th century
Apr 09, 2013 Phil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic story. Gives me a more optimistic view of humans and our possible future.
Jul 12, 2011 Brenda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scanned-though
Got the information I needed by scanning it but didn't want to read it!
Meredith Sommers
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Jun 29, 2016
Thereasa rated it really liked it
May 02, 2016
Jessica Knurek
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Barbara Pulli
Barbara Pulli rated it really liked it
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