Ruth First Never Backed Down
by Danielle Joseph
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Pub Date 07 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 31 Oct 2023
Lerner Publishing Group, Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Ruth First was born in South Africa, where her Jewish family fled from danger in Europe in the early 1900s. South Africa was a safe place for Jews, but not for Black people. Inspired by her parents’ example, a teenage Ruth started a secret book club with her friends to talk about inequality, but she knew she also had to speak out in public. In college, she protested with other students, including Nelson Mandela, and wrote stories for the newspaper about racial injustice. Although she was arrested and forced to leave her country, she continued to speak out and write about the horrors of apartheid all her life. Ruth First never backed down.
A Note From the Publisher
This title is also available as a paperback for $8.99 (ISBN: 9781728460352).
"This is a powerful and important book about an ordinary Jewish woman taking extraordinary risks to speak out against apartheid. Her courage is an inspiration, one that is steeped in Jewish values. Highly recommend."―Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 18 members
Beautifully written and illustrated book about one of the heroes in working to remove racial discrimination in South Africa, this story tells about the relationship between Ruth First, a Jewish South African activist and the Black activists. It introduces the young reader to this portion of South Africa's history, and it shows the commonalities uniting the Jewish and the Black population in fighting for freedom, dignity, and honor. A lovely book.
I LOVE that there are not too many words on each page! The language is tamed down, and the illustrations are beautiful. I was a new experience for me because I had never heard of Ruth First.
This is a book about segregation in South Africa and helps us understand that it happened everywhere. What little people, like ruth, were able to help end segregation across the world. Her parents put on a good show of how to speak out about what is wrong and stand up for what you believe in. She even as a young teen was able to discuss with friends and started to speak out on her own about what she knew was wrong. She was there to stand by and speak up when segregation was raging and the people who looked 'similar' to her were saying/doing awful things. Ruth lost her life before being able to see through to her fight and will be forever remembered for her kindness and will to speak up.
With the light on what has been happening around the world and especially in America again in 2020. We need to realize and teach our kids in our classrooms to speak out for themselves and stand up for what they want to see change. There should be no reason we are not teaching the next generation to stand up for themselves and stand up for the ones who feel like they can't. We should want to be teaching that sex, gender, color or differences do not make us less.