Cover Image: Never Forget Our People Were Always Free

Never Forget Our People Were Always Free

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Member Reviews

Never Forget Our People Were Always Free by Ben Jealous is a memoirish collection of essays (parables) that offer the reader a great deal of insight in both our collective past and our potential future. I don't even know the woman and I'm gonna miss his grandmother too.

Through telling stories from his own storied life Jealous teaches us so much about history, both personal and collective, as well as about people. Many lessons to be learned here. Knowledge that might shed light on things as well as ideas that could lead us forward. I was constantly being surprised at just how much I didn't know.

Admittedly I find some of his approaches difficult to actually follow through on. This is a negative statement about me, not one about him or his approaches. In particular, I find it very difficult, in the case of some people who I feel have shown their true moral and ethical shortcomings, to want to reach across and find common ground. I don't deny that there is some, we all have some common ground with each other, but I am resistant to continuing to compromise with those who absolutely refuse to do so. I also refuse to associate with some who have consistently chosen what seems like a clearly hateful agenda over a compassionate one, thus my estrangement from a couple of family members. I acknowledge that Jealous, and all those who can work with those types, is a better person than I am. 

I highly recommend this book to those who want to understand how we have gotten to where we are, and how we can move forward from here to a better world. It is slowly helping me to, not forgive, find ways of working with those I find utterly disgusting. Maybe if I find them less so, they may find me less so, and we can make some strides. Though some family members will never sit at my table again.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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This was a book that crosses both party and racial lines in an effort to unite our fractured nation.  The title phrase comes from the family griot's mantra, and the subject matter covers racial issues from all walks of American life.  It also discusses the class / caste system and how some of our nation's divide is, and has historically been, purposefully created.  While there's a bit more name-dropping that I like with my morning coffee, I suppose the author does it to try and establish credibility.  This was unnecessary for me, as his willingness to dig deep into the historic roots of our problems speaks for itself.
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