Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Just Like Jesse Owens

Friday, July 22, 2022

Book Review - Just Like Jesse Owens

Just Like Jesse Owens

About the Book

In Just Like Jesse Owens, civil rights icon, Ambassador Andrew Young and his daughter, Paula Young Shelton, deliver a powerful oral history about a special day in Andrew’s childhood that changed him forever. This story of race relations in the 1930s South is illustrated by bestselling Caldecott Honor winner Gordon C. James.

As a boy, Andrew Young learned a vital lesson from his parents when a local chapter of the Nazi party instigated racial unrest in their hometown of New Orleans in the 1930s. While Hitler's teachings promoted White supremacy, Andrew's father, told him that when dealing with the sickness of racism, "Don't get mad, get smart." To drive home this idea, Andrew Young Senior took his family to the local movie house to see a newsreel of track star Jesse Owens racing toward Olympic gold, showing the world that the best way to promote equality is to focus on the finish line. The teaching of his parents, and Jesse Owens' example, would be the guiding principles that shaped Andrew's beliefs in nonviolence and built his foundation as a civil rights leader and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The story is vividly recalled by Paula Young Shelton, Andrew's daughter.

My Take on the Book
This was a great book that brings together strong concepts of advocacy and nonviolence. I loved the story and how this special day really guided the life of Andrew Young. I found the story to be amazing as it really shows how one day can change a life for the better. The book had great images, but even better was the messages thoughout the book.

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