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We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide
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We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  570 ratings  ·  129 reviews
Carol Anderson's White Rage took the world by storm, landing on the New York Times bestseller list and best book of the year lists from New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Chicago Review of Books. It launched her as an in-demand commentator on contemporary race issues for national print and television media and garnered her an invitation to speak to the Demo ...more
Hardcover, 270 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by Bloomsbury YA
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Brittany Lamb
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, 5-stars, biaoc
THIS is what our students should be reading in history textbooks. I can't even fathom the amount of research required to put this together, but I highly applaud the persistence. This is quality nonfiction; facts that we either don't know, or do know and have previously ignored. Anderson put so much into this and I came out the other end of it feeling honestly educated and informed. Amazing. ...more
Mandy Peterson
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Four reasons to read "We Are Not Yet Equal":

1. Holy timeline, folks! I always thought I was pretty well-versed in American history. My history book was worn, the pages delved into with care. So, I honestly really didn't understand WHERE all of the cries of racial inequality were coming from. This book opened my eyes to a lot - especially on the national scale. Policies that are either intentionally or incidentally perpetuating inequality are brought to light. Had it not been for the timeline pre
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I keep starting this review only to delete what I wrote and start over because I can't find the words that are right to start this off. Instead of allowing myself to get caught in an endless loop of rewritten intros, let's start with a quote from the epilogue of this book.

"Imagine if, instead of continually refighting the Civil War, we had actually moved on to rebuilding..."

This quote basically sums up the entire book. Every chapter is full of examples of (white) people going out of their way to
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: literally everyone in America
This is a well-researched breakdown of where politicians got it wrong and steered our country in the wrong direction (spoiler: usually backward) from slavery to present day.

I somehow missed reading White Rage when it came out, so reading We Are Not Yet Equal, which is White Rage adapted for younger readers, enticed me to read White Rage next.

Basically everything we were told in history class about United States history, especially where the rights and citizenship of African Americans are concern
Richie Partington
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Richie’s Picks: WE ARE NOT YET EQUAL: UNDERSTANDING OUR RACIAL DIVIDE by Carol Anderson with Tonya Bolden, Bloomsbury, September 2018, 288p., ISBN: 978-1-547-60076-2

“I am not poison,
no I am not poison
Just a boy from the hood that
Got my hands in the air in despair
Don’t shoot!”
-- Jay-Z “Spiritual” (2016)

“President Trump buoyed the white nationalist movement on Tuesday as no president has done in generations -- equating activists protesting racism with the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who rampa
I should have started highlighting quotes before I was halfway through the book. But, this one struck me because I keep thinking as I read that the people in power at the time were so very intent on keeping black people "in their place" that they were willing to shoot themselves in the foot, right down to closing ALL of the schools rather than integrate. That level of hate really is mind-boggling, while at the same time, there's evidence of it all around us still today.

"In the war on Brown, bla
This should be recommended reading for all high school students in US History courses. It is another eye opening read that has helped me educate myself about the oppression that POC have faced repeatedly from the beginning of time.

As I read each chapter one constant word kept coming to mind - FEAR. White people, and more often than not, white men are so fearful of people of color. I don't understand why we fear POC so much that we continue to try to "keep them down" and treat them like slaves o
Nicole Monk
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, ya-nonfic
Ok - so actual enjoyment reading this book probably only 3 or 4. BUT IT'S SO IMPORTANT. I just don't really enjoy reading non-fiction. Not my thing. But this YA adaptation of White Rage is awesome and great for people like me who aren't big non-fiction readers. Most chapters are around 10 -15 pages so it doesn't spend too much time on one topic getting bogged down in the details.

BUT I LEARNED SO MUCH. Seriously recommend this.
Mira Prater
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
I really enjoyed this nonfictional account of the US’s history of actively harming black Americans, whether with violence or laws. Most of the history I already knew but there were a few new things I learned. Would 100% recommend.
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow, wow, wow. I finished this book last night and I'm still at a loss for words. This is a horror story of truth about America and the ongoing, systemic, often deadly racism that plagues its history. To say it's shocking is an understatement. It's so well researched and so well presented, written in a way that is easily readable by a younger audience but also appealing to adults. It's a raw statement of facts and the tells the political and legal history of racism, gerrymadering, and even gasli ...more
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: racism
"The trigger for white rage is black advancement."

"With so much attention focused on the flames, everyone had ignored the logs, the kindling."

"Before Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, he had plotted to rid the nation of as many of the nearly half million free black people as possible."

"Thomas Jefferson had advocated the expulsion of blacks from the United States in order to save the nation."

"Migration is the story of America. It is foundational."

"Thurgood Marshall's dissent in Bakke
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great introduction. An “easy” read, physically. But an excellent wake up call if real US history is a new subject. Gives the basic foundation and structure for a more thorough study. Enough to start the conversation to healing and real change.

Rolling back advances in Civil Rights

P. 131 “Also magically removed by this interpretation were up to $24 trillion in multi generational devastation the blacks had suffered in lost wages, stolen land, educational impoverishment, and housing inequalities it
Rachel (Life of a Female Bibliophile)
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We Are Not Yet Equal is an insightful book about the history of civil rights with a deeper focus on law. Though it’s aimed at a younger audience, I felt that it could be read by older children and adults alike. The book follows the timeline of history pointing out historical events and legislature from the era of the civil war to the 21st century. It highlights moments such as the Great Migration, the case of Brown vs. Board,
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cybils, ya-nonfiction
We Are not yet Equal was a fascinating and informative read. Anderson does an amazing job supporting her theme of racial inequality. Her point is that every time progress has been made in addressing racial inequality, especially in regards to blacks, there has been a massive backlash by the white population (white rage she calls it). And after reading the book, I have to say that she's convinced me of the truthfulness of that statement. This YA adaption focuses on five major events that seemed ...more
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Please make it a goal this year to read this book, share it with your family and friends, and then have meaningful discussions. This is well-researched and documented, outlining insidious, ubiquitous racism in the United States from Reconstruction to the present. With an emphasis on Constitutional Amendments and Supreme Court cases, the author illustrates and explains dozens of events in the US that probably went under your radar. I've read much of similar content before in other books, but was ...more
Nathan V
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is my new secret weapon for my conservative relatives at family reunions. This book has statistics, studies, court cases, pieces of legislation, and quotes backing every claim. It is a very informative book that clearly shows how blacks have been oppressed throughout American history and continue to be disadvantaged relative to whites. What surprised me was the vast amount of area it touches on--this book covers A LOT of American history from the beginning of the Antebellum period to the pr ...more
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Required reading for everyone regardless of age, ethnicity, race, class, political affiliation. But, especially, ALL white people MUST read this book. Then, take action to eradicate white supremacy in all of us. Even if you think you don't hold white supremacist beliefs, you do. Intent is irrelevant. Move aside, it's the least we can do as we've benefited from white supremacy forever. ...more
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the first young adult adaptation of a nonfiction that made me want to pick up the original book. As much as I learned, I definitely wanted more of the in-depth breakdown that I'm sure is in the main book, White Rage. This is perfect as a primer - informative and direct. Definitely recommend ...more
Kate O'Quinn
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This should be required reading for all high schoolers.
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
While reading this, I felt similarly to when I read another of Dr. Anderson's books One Person, No Vote. Very informative, but also very name, fact, date heavy writing as she details hundreds of acts of individual and systemic racism throughout American history. I think that's important, it's just not my preferred method of storytelling. I guess what I mean is that Dr. Anderson's strategy seems to be to overflow the reader with a tsunami of examples, whether about the history of racist acts in t ...more
Emily Karsten
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Carol Anderson did a great job on breaking down the racial divide. The book was also very detailed and enjoyable. To me there was no slow bits of the book. For me I think it is super important for any one to read this book just to learn more about the divide and hopefully close it in the future.With in the book I really liked all of the facts that went along with it. It details the past and how there still is a divided. Not only the details but it high lighted important people that played or pla ...more
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent explanation of the systemic and leagalized use of racism in history and how those precedents are still felt/in use today.
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A clear account of the myriad ways whites in this country have strategically and systematically suppressed black progress.
Tonstant Weader
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
We Are Not Yet Equal is a condensed history of the post-Civil War struggles to combat racism and protect the civil rights of African Americans and the resistance to that struggle by white supremacists of all kinds, from those in sheets to those in business suits to those in the White House. As soon as the War was over, racists in the North and the South and in both parties set to work to get things back to their normal, the white supremacist normal, with Black Codes and new laws that effectively ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
Advance copy made available to me through Net Galley.

This book delves into the history of racism in the United States and it pulls zero punches. Early on the book starts with the statement that Abraham Lincoln lacked "clarity" "humanity" and "resolve" when it came to post-Civil War/reconstruction and moving the U.S. forward. The authors go in on a number of founding fathers and at first, I was genuinely surprised at the tone of the book. Was it all right, I wondered, for a history book for teens
Colleen Spillers
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Eye opening!

I know this is a YA book - but all adults should read it! The history is clear and explained well - and honestly - as a child of the 80' was all the important parts of history my teachers must have either not known or didn't bother to teach us...

All current adults and teens now and forward on should be reading this book as part of our historical education. I think we need to reframe our history classes - instead of learning facts and historical figures - we should learn histori
Amber Weintraub
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This is a must-read book outlining the history of race in the US. I annotated this book in it's entirety.
It covers SO MUCH content and delves very deep but is still super accessible to read for those folks who struggle with non-fiction or for younger readers.
This will stay on my shelf, and in my classroom, and will likely be referenced consistently.
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
I am so glad to have discovered this book. It's very clear and methodical (and well documented to boot) in laying out the history of racism in this country and draws a straight line from slavery, through jim crow, and up through the present. All my kids will be reading this. ...more
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This morning as I walked with my daughter she told me, "Mom - I'm so upset about racial injustice, my friends don't seem to care, and I just don't know what to do!" I responded, "We need to educate ourselves and we need to vote."

We Are Not Yet Equal is the young reader's edition of Anderson's "White Rage", honestly the perfect title for this book. From before Thomas Jefferson to after Trump's election, white supremacy winds its way into our everyday lives. I used to think racism was hidden and o
Dec 28, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I loved this book. I raised a lot to think about, the epilogue was breathtaking. However, there was a lot of information that I felt was emotional. Quotes used with no reference who said it. There are so many books that I would recommend over this one. With that said, read it. Well worth the investment in the time.

Loved this part:

“Donald Trump: ‘Don’t worry, we’ll take our country back.’

It is time instead, that we the people, take our country forward.”
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Carol Anderson is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of African American Studies at Emory University. Professor Anderson’s research and teaching focus on public policy; particularly the ways that domestic and international policies intersect through the issues of race, justice and equality in the United States.

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