A Long Time Coming: A Lyrical Biography of Race in America from Ona Judge to Barack Obama
This YA biography-in-verse of six important Black Americans from different eras, including Ona Judge, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Martin Luther King Jr., and Barack Obama, chronicles the diverse ways each fought racism and shows how much—and how little—has changed for Black Americans since our country’s founding.
Drawing on extensive research and numerous primary sources, Ray Anthony Shepard’s A Long Time Coming tells the story of racism in the United States, revealing that racial justice has been, and still is, a long time coming. Shepard shows the ways in which each paved the way for those who followed. From freedom seeker Ona Judge, who fled her enslavement by America’s first president, to Barack Obama, the first Black president, all of Shepard’s protagonists fight valiantly for justice for themselves and all Black Americans in any way that they can. Full of daring escapes, deep emotion, and subtle lessons on how racism operates, this book reveals the universal importance of its subjects’ struggles for justice. But it is also a highly personal book, as Shepard — whose maternal grandfather was enslaved — shows how the grand sweep of history has touched his life, reflecting on how much progress has been made against racism, while also exhorting readers to complete the vast work that remains to be done.
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