Race Relations
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Race Relations: The Struggle for Equality in America

Illustrated by Richard Chapman

How could a country founded on the honorable ideals of freedom and equality have so willingly embraced the evils of enslavement and oppression?

America’s history of race relations is Read More

Available In:
Hardcover, $22.95
Paperback, $17.95
eBook, $12.99
Includes: Table of Contents | Timeline | Maps | Glossary | Resources | Index
Specs: 8 x 10 size | 4-color interior | 128 pages
Subject: Social Studies
Content Focus: U.S. History


Praise for The Vietnam War by Barbara Diggs

Matthew Masur, Associate Professor of History, St. Anselm College, co-editor of Understanding and Teaching the Vietnam War
“A great introduction to the Vietnam War for young readers. Diggs’ book is clear, readable, and engaging. She takes an important but challenging topic and treats it with fairness and sensitivity.”


Detailed Book Description

How could a country founded on the honorable ideals of freedom and equality have so willingly embraced the evils of enslavement and oppression?

America’s history of race relations is a difficult one, full of uncomfortable inconsistencies and unpleasant truths. Although the topic is sensitive, it is important to face this painful past unflinchingly—knowing this history is key to understanding today’s racial climate and working towards a more harmonious society.

In Race Relations: The Struggle for Equality in America, kids ages 12 to 15 follow the evolution of race relations in America from the country’s earliest beginnings until present day. The book examines how the concept of race was constructed in the seventeenth century and how American colonists used racial differences to justify slavery, discrimination and the persecution of people of color. Through links to online primary sources such as newspaper articles, letters, poems, and songs, young readers will explore how race relations changed—and didn’t—through the eras of Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and Civil Rights, and under the presidencies of Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

The book introduces students to people from four different centuries—some famous, some ordinary citizens—who took great risks to fight for freedom, equality, and social justice. It also fosters discussions of contemporary racial issues and social justice movements, including Black Lives Matters, and encourages students to consider steps they can take to help improve race relations.

Race teaches students about American race relations in a fact-based way that promotes empathy and understanding. Projects such as identifying the influences that contributed to the reader’s own view of other races, writing journal entries from the perspective of student of color at a newly-integrated school in the 1960s, and investigating implicit racial bias in newspaper photographs or news articles helps students to think critically and creatively about their own position and role in society and gain a broader understanding of the world they live in. Fun facts, links to online primary sources and other supplemental material, and essential questions take readers on an exploration of the past, present, and future of race relations.

Race is part of a set of four books called Inquire & Investigate Social Issues of the Twenty-First Century, which explores the social challenges that have faced our world in the past and that continue to drive us to do better in the future. Other titles in this set are Gender Identity, Feminism, and Immigration Nation.

Try these critical-thinking activities.

  • Examine original document black abolitionist newspapers
  • Look at statistics of racial incarceration rates vis-à-vis drug use rates
  • Create a social justice movement



What are Race Relations?

Chapter 1
The Creation of Race

Chapter 2
Reconstruction: First Steps Toward Equality

Chapter 3
Separate and Unequal

Chapter 4
Renewing the Fight for Civil Rights

Chapter 5
A Colorblind Society?

Chapter 6
Continuing the Good Fight