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Children of the Dream

Children of the Dream

Our Own Stories Growing Up Black in America

"I let somebody call me 'nigger.' It wasn't just any old body, either; it was my friend. That really hurt."
-- Amitiyah Elayne Hyman

Martin Luther King, Jr., dreamed of a day when black children were judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. His eloquent charge became the single greatest inspiration for the achievement of racial justice in America. In her powerful fourth book in the Children of Conflict series, Laurel Holliday explores how far we have come as she presents thirty-eight African-Americans who share their experiences as Children of the Dream.
"I was brought up with white Barbie dolls of impossible proportions and long silky blonde hair -- neither of which I possessed. As a child I believed what I was taught, and I wasn't taught to love myself for who I am -- an African-American."
-- Charisse Nesbit

The unforgettable people we hear from are young and old, rich and poor, from inner cities, suburbia, and rural America. In chronicles that are highly personal, funny, tragic, and triumphant, the contributors tell us what it is like coming of age stigmatized by the color of their skin, yet proud of their heritage and culture.
Their voices, their courage, their resilience -- and their understanding -- offer hope for us all.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 448 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476775340 | 
  • February 2014
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: Arline Lorraine Piper

In this heart-stoppingly honest and beautiful account of four generations of challenge, resilience, and generosity, Arline Lorraine Piper, who will turn seventy-five this year, takes us back to the time of the Great Depression, when she was just beginning first grade at a mostly white school in Boston, Massachusetts.

"From my very first engagement with white people when I went to first grade," she says, "I came to understand that to be black in America was to live in two worlds, to experience two selves, to play two sets of roles, and to struggle to preserve sanity and surety when those two... see more

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