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review 2017-03-03 01:47
The Delusion of Inclusion
The Delusion of Inclusion - Brian W. Smith

Title: The Delusion of Inclusion
Author: Brian W. Smith
Publisher: B.W.S.
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five

"The Delusion of Inclusion" by Brian W. Smith

My Viewpoint....

What a interesting story that only this author can give to his readers! I will say by the end of this story I was in tears in how this author presented this novel so well to the reader. This was definitely a excellent read that dealt so well with today's 'prejudices and racial profiling' as we can see that racism still exist in our African American and Caucasian world. The characters [from Wood, Ryan, C- When & Paige] to name a few were all over the top. They were very well developed, portrayed and even humorous as times giving the reader one intriguing, thought provoking as well as a very emotional read that will give you a lots to think about long after the read.

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review 2017-02-18 22:14
Class - Lucinda Rosenfeld
ISBN: 9780316265416
Publisher: Little Brown & Co. 
Publication Date: 1/10/2017 
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 4 Stars


Lucinda Rosenfeld's CLASS features New York, Karen Kipple as she struggles to balance the demands of motherhood and career, always convinced that she was shortchanging one or the other.

Married for ten years and for the last five Karen had been the director of development for a small non-profit devoted to tackling childhood hunger in the US. For the past two years, she had been trying to write an oped which she hoped one day to publish in a major newspaper, about the relationship between nutrition and school readiness.

Matt, her husband is also a career activist in the nonprofit sector and she is always worried about Ruby, her eight-year-old daughter’s education. She encourages her former lawyer husband to quit his job and work with low-income people to assist their housing needs.

Karen had enrolled her daughter at Betts, aware that it lacked the reputation for academic excellence of other schools nearby, but Ruby would be exposed to children who were less privileged than herself. Even though the white population of the school hovered around 25%. Being in the minority in what she had chosen. However, was he sacrificing her education? Diversity or inferior education?

She had always aspired to a life of making a difference and helping those less fortunate than herself. She tried to live in accordance with the politics and principals, which of course included the notion that public education was a force for good and that without racially and economically integrated school, an equal opportunity couldn’t exist.

Ruby was smart and a voracious reading and life should be good. Karen, an advocate for non-food additives and chemicals as well as diversity. She has a nice condo, hubby, and daughter, Karen’s life seemed to be good in New York; however, she is unhappy.

“Karen’s complex and contradictory relationship to eating had also grown more in the last few years, along with weight, teeth, and marriage—somehow become a dividing line between the social classes with the Earth Day — esque ideals of the 1960s having acquired snob appeal, and the well-off and well-educated increasingly buying “natural” and “fresh” and casting aspersions on those who didn’t.”

Then when a classmate of Ruby’s transfers out of Betts to a more privileged school of white students, all of Karen’s earlier thoughts and commitments, quickly vanished. Her husband wants a divorce because she enrolled Ruby in a new school without telling him.

Following the lead, she moves Ruby and then begins an affair with a rich guy, Clay, among other things. More lies. Her emotions are all over the board. Karen is torn between social classes, seeing the poor living in shelters and the rich and their superficial ways. Hypocrisy. Guilt.

She was capable of paying hundreds of dollars for an espresso machine from Italy, Karen had a deeply ingrained cheap streak as well, which caused her to do things like go to the library and photocopy the crossword puzzle from the Sunday paper rather than pay for a subscription.

Rosenfeld kicks butt and puts it all out there. With keen insights, raw honesty, a brutal portrayal ---the truth of our unequal society in urban America. With humor and highly-charged topics, the author hits the bull's eye, with CLASS.

I especially enjoyed the wide range of topics from privilege, class, identity, entitlement, education, politics, domestic, marriage, social economics, philanthropy—to ethical dilemmas, the author does not miss a beat in this delightful satire.

A tale of one woman’s struggle between the madness of liberal and reality. The lesson liberals need to learn is that despite their arrogance, they do not have the power to alter reality. From liberals to progressive—is equality among human race the exception, and inequality the norm?

Much to like here whether you are a modern-day urban parent, grandparent, or single. Smart, witty, engaging, absorbing, and thought-provoking! The hardcover was stunning with a perfect fitting cover. An ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions.

A special thank you to Little Brown & Co., Goodreads Giveaway, and NetGalley for a complimentary reading copy, in exchange for an honest review.


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/12/01/Class
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review 2017-02-18 13:48
Not quite what the title says it is but still has important information.
Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons, and the Racial Divide - Joy-Ann Reid

The Obama/Clinton story had been a rivalry for the ages after the 2008 election. After a brutal primary where people liked both but ended up with hard feelings after a long slog there were a ton of questions. Were these two going to be able to work together? Hillary Clinton had been widely considered as the frontrunner and almost certain nominee. How would the Democrats meld this together and win?


The story was one for the ages and we saw President Obama campaign for Clinton in the 2016 election. But how did they get here? How did the Democratic Party get here? And where does it go from here?


These are the questions that pop up in this book. It traces the modern (I guess?) Democratic Party with Lyndon B. Johnson undertaking some of the Presidential duties for the first time after the JFK assassination. From there Reid follows the path of the party and into Clinton's announcement that she would be running for the nomination a second time in 2015.


Overall the information was interesting but I had been under the impression the book would focus on Obama/Clinton rather than the history that got us here. And while it's an important read, I thought it was quite boring. Reid is a journalist and that, unfortunately, probably played into my dislike. I enjoy following her on Twitter and occasionally watch her show but the text wasn't very readable to me. It was very interesting to read about the path the Democratic Party took after the death of JFK through the lens of issues including racism, civil rights, voting rights, and the campaign/eventual election of the first black POTUS but it was tough.


That said: it's important information. A lot of people could stand to read the change and evolution of the Democratic Party (and the Republican Party as well but that's not Reid's focus here) on BOTH sides of the aisle, regardless of where they sit on the political spectrum. As other reviews note it's definitely not a book for newbies or people who are not political junkies. The first 'Game Change' book might be a good compliment to give you a more general background of the election as a whole or if you need a refresher on the events.


Recommend the library if you're interested.

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review 2016-11-19 18:40
If ever there was a perfect time to read this book, it would be now.
White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide - Carol Anderson

I thought this would be a good book to read after the election and it still is. But unfortunately the events that have occurred since then probably spins this a little differently.


The book is an overview of the journey and barriers African Americans have taken ever since the end of the Civil War and its reconstruction. Topics ranging from citizenship to the Great Migration to voting rights to civil rights to police brutality are all touched upon here. The book is engaging, although for my tastes it reminded me once again why I never cared to go into law with examinations of Supreme Court cases and legislation. This is a minor point and my own personal preference though.


Again, it wouldn't be surprising if this were information you were only vaguely aware of and/or never learned in school. It may present information that makes you uncomfortable. But it is informative. And it should probably be read in conjunction with other books as supplements. For as good of an overview this is, it's a slim book and can't cover everything in detail.


The book also reminds me that progress is very much a winding road filled with potholes and road blocks and rough terrain that needs repaving and sometimes you go through many detours or make a ton of U-turns. Which is not to be glib about the process since this often this ends in violence or death but all the same it's a reminder that paths like this are never easy ones.


Go into the book with an open mind. Despite the title (which, in retrospect I think is a bit provocative and I'm not sure quite adequately captures her thesis although I understand where she's coming from) it's an informative text that is extremely fitting for the moment.


Other books that I'd recommend as compliments to this one include Michelle Alexander's 'The New Jim Crow', Ari Berman's 'Give Us the Ballot', Isabel Wilkerson's 'The Warmth of Other Suns' and Ian Haney López's 'Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism & Wrecked the Middle Class'. Other, post-2016 election book lists would also probably be a good place to look ('White Rage' has appeared on few I've seen) too.


I borrowed this from the library but for the right person it would probably be a good book to keep on the bookshelf and it wouldn't surprise me if it shows up on college syllabi either, although it is not "textbook" in tone or writing style.

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review 2016-10-28 15:50
Why We Can't Wait - Martin Luther King Jr.
Why We Can't Wait - Martin Luther King Jr.,Jesse Jackson

“No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”

“Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

And the famous......

“I Had a Dream....”

And can never forget.....

"Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty we are free at last."

If you don't know the voice to these quotes then you need to either go back to school or locate your library as quick as you can. The visionist who, with courage, spoke these words to the ears of every person on the planet. Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. as you know is well known for his speaking for civil rights movement in the time when folks didn't "get along well with other" because of the skin color. Back in the day it was unheard of for White folk and Black folks could be seen together in a public place; for them to sit casually in a resturant and just eat breakfast. Today...we hardly ever have this problem. Kids in school can understand what their teachers mean by "segregated" "racial differences". To fully understand what really happened back in the day, what took place and how the "people" felt it's always best to go to a non-fiction book. And I, as your librarian, have the perfect book for the young minds that are trying to understand who, what, where when and the why. Why We Can't Wait by the man himself, Martin Luther King Jr.

Why We Can't Wait talks about the Birmingham, Alabama (which was well known as the most racially segregated city in the United States at that time) druing the 1963 which was a very crucial year for the civil rights movement. King demonstrated with many other outspoken people to the world the power of nonviolent direct action by examining the history of the civil rights struggle and the tasks that furture generations (like us) must accomplish to bring about full equality.

The other reason why this book is perfect for young minds trying to understand what went on during that time frame is that Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote most of this book was written along with a "Letter from Birmingham Jail" King wrote in April of 1963. Trying to get inside the mind of one of the great outspoken leaders of our time? Try your local library and ask about Martin Luther King Jr. You might find something you weren't even looking for!!!

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/513100149
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