Suzy's Reviews > Betty Before X

Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz
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it was amazing
bookshelves: african-american-history, children-s-books, civil-rights, culturally-relevant, biography, historical-fiction, middle-grades-fiction, realistic-fiction, women
Read 2 times. Last read April 19, 2018 to April 20, 2018.

Up until reading this book I knew nothing about Betty Shabazz, other than her name. You could chalk that up to privilege or to my ignorance. Anyway, I am extremely grateful for the books that Ilyasah Shabazz -- the daughter of Betty Shabazz and Malcolm X -- has been writing. I read her fictionalized biography of her father last year, and now this one about her mother. Betty Shabazz, born in Georgia to a teenaged mother, her paternal grandmother suspected she was being abused and removed her from the home, giving Betty to her Aunt Fannie Mae to raise. The aunt died when Betty was 7, and Betty was sent to Detroit to be reunited with her mother, her mother's husband, 3 half sisters and 2 step brothers. For reasons only hinted at, Betty's mother (she calls her by her first name always, Ollie Mae) is very hard on her eldest daughter, and Betty's struggle for her mother's love is a central theme in the story. This book was an enlightening look at Detroit in the 1940s and the nascent Civil Rights Movement, as well as an introduction to a really strong and influential woman who deserves to have far more recognition. I loved this book!
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 19, 2018 – Started Reading
April 19, 2018 – Shelved
April 19, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
April 20, 2018 – Finished Reading
April 21, 2018 – Shelved as: african-american-history
April 21, 2018 – Shelved as: children-s-books
April 21, 2018 – Shelved as: civil-rights
April 21, 2018 – Shelved as: culturally-relevant
April 21, 2018 – Shelved as: biography
April 21, 2018 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
April 21, 2018 – Shelved as: middle-grades-fiction
April 21, 2018 – Shelved as: realistic-fiction
April 21, 2018 – Shelved as: women

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