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5.0 out of 5 starsAn Insightful Look at Both Historical and Modern Race Relations
Reviewed in the United States on May 31, 2021
Expertly written, The Ballad of Robert Charles is an insightful probe into an uncomfortable and ongoing chapter in our history. Steve’s extensive research into the New Orleans riot in 1900, much of it whitewashed by journalism at the time, results in a candid assessment of race relations in both historical and modern contexts. As such, this book contributes to, and supports, the ongoing struggle for racial equality.
An engaging and thought-provoking book about race and violence, voices and silences, history and memory. Beautifully written. I truly enjoyed reading this. (And it’s a great book to teach in history classes!)
5.0 out of 5 starsTimely history lesson that sheds light on Jim Crow and the root of US race relations.
Reviewed in the United States on May 28, 2021
I haven't read a lot of books on American history. If they were all as well-written as this one, instead I wouldn't stop. As a stubborn truth-teller who is related to the author, I must share that I wouldn't hesitate to call my cousin's book garbage in an Amazon review, IF that were the case. It isn't. It's literally the best book I've read in at least 5 years. I reserve the right to increase that number when I turn that last page. Stephen Prince is a captivating storyteller, who has dedicated his life to history and music. This project, at the intersection of both, is where he shines. In a time of racial friction in the US, the book's history lesson of Jim Crow is helping me process the events of today. Thanks Stephen!
5.0 out of 5 starsNew Orleans. 1900. This happened.
Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2021
A black man killed several police officers, a race riot ensued, and the perpetrator met his end in what amounted to a public lynching. In this thoroughly and carefully researched history, Steve Prince tells the story of Robert Charles and his stand against white supremacy. Prince goes beyond the events themselves to examine the conditions that drove Charles to act, and explores the ways that the incident has been remembered (and forgotten). It's a story worth knowing and a book worth reading.
I've been waiting for Prince's next book ever since I read his first book, Stories of the South. This is a fantastic read and essential in revealing how African Americans continued to fight the violent imposition of white rule in the long aftermath of Reconstruction. Don't miss this essential work.