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My Country 'Tis of Thee
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My Country 'Tis of Thee

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  80 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
The first Muslim to be elected to Congress speaks out about what divides Americans—and what can bring us together. As a former Catholic who converted to Islam, Keith Ellison, is the first Muslim elected to Congress—from a district with fewer than 1 percent Muslims and 11 percent Blacks. With his unique perspective on uniting a disparate community and speaking to a common g ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Gallery Books/Karen Hunter Publishing
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Having been given the opportunity to read My Country ‘Tis of Thee in advance, I can legitimately regard it as a necessary read for Americans, and people from elsewhere, alike. My role in promoting this book was made easy, as it is genuinely moving and thought provoking. Ellison’s prose is relatable and captures precisely his character- the kind of man he is. Moreover, his insights on race and religion in American political culture and society provides a view of Islam that can help readers both u ...more
Dec 26, 2016 Kinksrock rated it liked it
A good introduction to Congressman Keith Ellison, who may become a major player in the Democratic party. This book gives a summary of his life though he only briefly mentions at one point that his wife became his ex-wife -- a topic which deserves some explanation in a book that is partially autobiographical. It also focuses on issues of religion, race, and discrimination, both from the viewpoint of history and his life.
Feb 14, 2014 Judie rated it really liked it
While almost every American knows the words to “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” most do not know there was an abolitionist version written in 1843. It speaks of the history of slavery and white privilege but ends on a hopeful note for everyone as it looks towards the day when slavery ends. This song and these verses molded Keith Ellison’s history and goals. MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THEE articulate that history and goals very well.
Even if he accomplishes nothing more the rest of his life, he has assured h
Angie Smith
Jan 05, 2017 Angie Smith rated it it was amazing
A well-written synopsis giving the reader a good idea of "where he is coming from" literally and on very important relevant issues of today. I felt like Congressman Ellison explained his position with eloquence and does not demean others for their viewpoints. Several times he indicates he has apologized for his impulsive remarks, yet I appreciate his passion and understand he is human too.
Jan 19, 2014 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Keith Ellison, a former Catholic who converted to Islam, was the first Muslim to be elected to US Congress. In My Country ‘Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future Ellison recounts the history of racism and prejudice in America, what continues to divide the country and what needs to change to accommodate different races and beliefs. Ellison is deeply patriotic and takes a hard look at today’s culture to help define what it means to be an American today and how we can work toward re-unifying ...more
Jan 28, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, memoir
I received an advance reading copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
When I saw that the first Muslim to be elected to the U.S. Congress had written a memoir I was anxious to read it. If I had ever known there was a Muslim in Congress, I had forgotten, and I was curious about what Mr. Ellison had to say.
Ellison grew up in Detroit, the son of a physician. He covers his family life in detail and gives the reader a feeling for his early life and the influences that carry
Apr 08, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing
I was first impressed by the title and then reading about the author. I love how he started and ended this book. His personal strengths and the strengths of his family gave this book even more enjoyable for me as a reader and one who loves family. I did not know about Keith Ellison but I feel with his love of people, and risk taken in his religous freedom is one that I have thought about many times after reading this book and returning to read portions of it again. I can't begin to image how his ...more
May 02, 2013 Naomi rated it it was amazing
Moving seamlessly from personal story and experience to political issues and back, Ellison invites us all to the dialogue of what it means to be a democracy, to offer one another dignity, to make a country both free and just, to lead and to take responsibility for what each of us can do and all of us may do together. Recommended for community reads, community organizers, social justice committees, and anyone interested in civil rights and safe and healthy communities.
Feb 17, 2014 R.Z. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Keith Ellison's autobiography is an interesting account of his background, family, decisions and actions that led him to become a member of congress as the first Muslim African-American. He gives his thoughts and philosophies on child-raising and other issues. For many readers, this will be satisfying. For me, it seemed somewhat topical and light; I would have liked more depth, more analysis of his thinking.
Feb 22, 2016 Kevin rated it liked it
The memoir of America's first Muslim Congressman and Minnesota's first non-white Congressman. I'm usually not into political memoirs, but this was pretty interesting. He grew up in Detroit and moved to Minnesota for college, like I did (well, Detroit suburbs) and it was kind of fun to see a little inside Minnesota politics.
Barb Moore
Jan 08, 2014 Barb Moore rated it liked it
Read an advance copy. I appreciated the insights into what it was like to run for the U.S. Congress as a black Muslim in a majority white, Christian district. His experiences in the Middle East and in Somalia and the importance of U.S. support for democracy and human rights over status quo and "stability" we're a refreshing call to action.
May 23, 2014 Nick rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
A little preachy in places, but an enjoyable narrative of his life.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Importance of Keith Ellison 2 6 May 16, 2013 08:43AM  
Islam in American culture 5 16 May 15, 2013 06:27PM  
"No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs" 4 21 Apr 21, 2013 06:22PM  
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Congressman Keith Ellison represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Fifth District includes the City of Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs and is one of the most vibrant and ethnically diverse districts in Minnesota.

Rep. Ellison’s guiding philosophy is based on “generosity and inclusion” and his priorities in Congress are building prosperity for w
More about Keith Ellison...

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“What I know about my country is that when America is challenged, we rise to the occasion. When we’re fearful, we become divided. When we’re courageous and have good leadership, we unite.” 8 likes
“I raised my right hand and placed my left on the Quran, which was being held by my wife and mom. Suddenly, I was blinded by a cascade of camera flashes...” 7 likes
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