Students at a nearby high school recently went on a protest after a white guest teacher made a racist comment to a Black student. I am glad that the students took action and the teacher was banned from the district. The incident reminded me of a scene from Malcolm And Me, by Robin Farmer.
The story is set in the 1970s and in it a white nun says a racist insult to a Black student at the Catholic school where the main character attends. “Get back in the boat. Go back to Africa. We never needed you people here in the first place,” the nun said. That experience made protagonist Roberta Forest realize how much prejudice and hypcrosisy surrounds her.
Roberta is in for a rollercoaster of a ride, especially as her parents’ constant fights foreshadow their marriage is in jeopardy. So she finds comfort through writing and reading. She’s been reading a book about Malcolm X, a Black Muslim minster and a Civil Rights activist. Roberta discovers more about herself through the leader. She was inspired by him because he fought back against injustice just like she did with her teacher.
The book is called Malcolm And Me because Roberta felt a kinship with Malcolm. He helped her rethink her faith and inspired her to stand up for herself.
I liked this book because it had good character development, each character was very unique and many of the characters were very lovable, others were very hate-able. One thing I didn’t like was how abrupt the story was at the beginning.
I recommend this book to readers who are looking for a good, young adult coming-of-age story. I recommend this book to readers 12-14. Parents should know that there is swearing throughout the book.
Four out of four roses!