Mighty Justice: The Untold Story of Civil Rights Trailblazer Dovey Johnson Roundtree

Roaring Brook. Dec. 2020. 208p. adapted by adapt. by Jabari Asim. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250229007.
Gr 7-10–Dovey Johnson Roundtree (1914–2018), an African American civil rights activist and attorney, learned from an early age that she was “as good as anybody.” She observed and absorbed how her mother and her grandmother carried themselves with dignity, served their church and their community, and never let the forces of white supremacy and Jim Crow laws in Charlotte, NC, defeat them. This young readers’ edition of Roundtree’s inspiring memoir provides context and detailed insight into the historic events in which she took part. The text offers a snapshot of the times in which Roundtree lived and worked, as well as a thorough explanation of the court cases and the constitutional issues that were of critical importance in the dismantling of segregation. There are plenty of inspiring vignettes. For example, Roundtree and her mother moved to Atlanta after Roundtree graduated high school. They were hired as domestic workers for a wealthy family; the wages they earned were put toward Roundtree’s tuition at Spelman College. When her mother returned to Charlotte, Roundtree continued to work for the family until they became abusive. She worked very hard for her education and didn’t let her circumstances discourage her. An index, a chronology of key civil rights judicial rulings, and suggestions for further reading are included.
VERDICT A moving memoir of a true American heroine. Highly recommended for junior high and high school nonfiction collections, and will especially appeal to those with a passion for social justice.

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