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Never Been a Time
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Never Been a Time

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  36 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
In the 1910s, half a million African Americans moved from the impoverished rural South to booming industrial cities of the North in search of jobs and freedom from Jim Crow laws. But Northern whites responded with rage, attacking blacks in the streets and laying waste to black neighborhoods in a horrific series of deadly race riots that broke out in dozens of cities across ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Walker Books Ltd (first published June 24th 2008)
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Kathy  Petersen
I live in a city that is burdened with a past, and a present, of racial prejudice if not all-out hatred. Across the river from me is East St. Louis, the site of the race riot Harper Barnes describes in specific detail with numerous stories of the people involved. He begins with a capsule but thorough history of racial conflicts in the United States, including that inhuman practice called lynching, and eloquently discussses the East St. Louis milieu before settling on the days of the 1917 riot in ...more
Aug 15, 2009 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harper Barnes revisits one of the most tragic events in American history, the East St. Louis Race Riot of 1917. The first part of the book reviews many of the earlier race riots and the Jim Crow era of American history and then recounts the events of May and July of 1917 in East St. Louis. I found the book disturbing because it is difficult for me to understand the deep seated racial violence perpetrated upon innocent people simply because of their color. What happened in East St. Louis is no di ...more
Helena Prophete
May 18, 2011 Helena Prophete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book Journeys. I had never heard of the 1917 race riot in East St. Louis until a customer suggested it for our library book discussion. This book has helped me understand that the Civil Rights movement didn't just occur in the 1960's. I highly recommend it as a must read.

Kristi Isaacs
The purpose of Harper Barnes writing the book Never Been A Time is to give the historical events of the 1917 riots. The book tells about black people-moving north looking for work. They moved to many cities in the North including, Cincinnati, Boston, New York and smaller cities and towns, including East St. Louis where the July 2, 1917 riot occurred. This was the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. With the moves to the North this meant that the black people were competing for the jobs of th ...more
Jun 09, 2009 Frank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cormac McCarthy's novel Blood Meridian is famous for its gory descriptions of massacres. Disturbing as I found that book, however, I found Harper Barnes's account of the East St. Louis riot even more so. Maybe because it happened right across the river, in a town that I've heard about all my life but never been to because the interstate skirts it by design, and because its reputation forbids sightseeing. Barnes narrates the riot, which he notes is more properly described as a massacre, in the ce ...more
Jason S
Feb 01, 2016 Jason S rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book about the 1917 East St. Louis race riots. The claim in the title to be what "sparked the civil rights movement" is quite a bit exaggerated, and the book does not talk about this very much at all
Feb 27, 2013 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: u-s-history
I was the third generation of my family born in East St. Louis, Illinois, so this book held special meaning and history for me. I've tried to read a few other books dealing with the especially significant and horrific 1917 race riot in Illinois, but this one is the best - it locates the riot in history and geography and socio political relations, such as the bosses' recruitment of African-Americans to the City in order to increase the labor pool and reduce wages and their use of African-American ...more
Jaki Hill
May 17, 2012 Jaki Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book "Never Been a Time" was a very good book to read. It gave me a history of what happened in East Saint Louis in the early 1900's with all of the racism and violence. It told the horrible accounts of the people who lived in East Saint Louis and the troubles they had to go throught. The only downside I have to this book is that it gave to much details for me to read, and made me lose intrest fast. Overall the book was a great read!
Jul 25, 2010 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An important book for St. Louis Metro East residents who would like to understand the social history that shapes our region. Like most historical dramas, there are villains and heroes; unfortunately, in this tale, the villains far outnumber the heroes. Careful: it’s a difficult and disturbing read.
Jan 30, 2014 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent chronicle of the building racial tension in East St. Louis and the resulting riot and aftermath. This is also a great book for anyone interested in St. Louis history.
Michael Hicks
Feb 24, 2015 Michael Hicks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Learn some TRUTH!!!
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