Cover Image: Never Forget Our People Were Always Free

Never Forget Our People Were Always Free

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a powerful essay without any fillers. Jealous beautifully weaves together personal stories and research to examine the racial inequalities in modern America. each chapter invites discussions while being profoundly moving. A great book for book clubs!

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I have to be honest: this one wasn’t really for me. The synopsis really drew me in. It promised to answer the following questions: Why do white men die from suicide more often than black men die from murder?
How did racial profiling kill an American president?
What happens when a Ku Klux Klansman wrestles with what Jesus actually said?
How did Dave Chappelle know the DC Snipers were Black?
Why shouldn't the civil rights movement give up on rednecks?
When is what we have collectively forgotten about race more important than what we actually know?
What do the most indecipherable things our elders say tell us about ourselves?
And while this book technically does answer these questions, this book is mostly a memoir. I would have preferred a more general book about social justice and race relations. Also, the author mentioned that Dave Chappelle is his god brother like, five times.

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I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Told in a series of parables, stories of injustice are both heartbreaking and inspiring.

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Never Forget Our People Were Always Free is a nonfiction work from Ben Jealous, an American civil rights leader and former president of the NAACP. The book is part memoir, part history lesson. Each chapter is told as a “parable,” through the lens of a personal or familial story with a sociopolitical event for added context. As a multiracial man and eternal optimist, Jealous tells a nuanced history of America that connects us all as “cousins.” It’s definitely more of a feel-good tale about race relations in the U.S. rather than a critical examination.

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American Healing

This is an optimistic book. And that will stay with me. It is also a realistic book and that will also stay with me. The full title is Never Forget Our People Were Always Free: A Parable of American Healing by Benjamin Todd Jealous.

The title make sense but to explain takes a while. So I’ll just skip that part and hope you are curious enough to get the book.I thank Netgalley for allowing me to read it before publication. The book will be released January 10.

The optimism hits me first.

We are all cousins. We generally don’t treat all of humanity or even all of our fellow Americans that way but it is true. Most of us know our first cousins and often second or even third cousins, Maybe some know the 4th, 5th or 6th cousins but usually not. There are various degrees of cousinship. And there are often multiple ways of being related. I have a few who are second cousins and also half third cousins.

One of my hobbies is genealogy so I can get a bit carried away with this stuff. I am also a geneticist so again this type of thing is an occupational hazard.

The story where he attended a dinner, talked to a someone he had not known, and they figured out that his new friend’s family once owned his family and they were probably fairly close cousins both surprised and pleased me. So now I have a cousin Ben and a cousin Maggie.

But cousin Ben was also realistic about discussing the racial divisions and other problems in the United States. His discussion of racism is especially interesting.

But to get back to the earlier point, it would be better if we remember that we are all cousins. Rather than allow skin color or political views to divide us, let our shared humanity unite us.

Some are better at this than others but I suspect we could all be a bit better. This book is definitely worthwhile and I recommend it highly.

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Never forget our people were always free by Benjamin Todd jealous is it is a memoir, an example in the message of hope. I have read many books about race relations this is the best book I have read out of every book I have ever read about race relations. In the book we learned about his biracial parents and how he mostly identifies what does African American side only because his dad‘s parents cut his day at all when he married Benjamin‘s mom. That didn’t stop these two people from raising their children with love dignity and respect for others. He tells the stories about trips with his cousin Dave Chapelle to Mississippi Dave’s home in Idaho Benjamins younger years going to school in New York and all the great people he met like one of my favorite people Desmond Tutu man who lived this life is an example of how great men act. Mr. jealous has had A fat full life in one that isn’t over yet. This book is full of not just a great time to say it but the dangerous situation he has put his self in and all the great causes he has put his name behind he comes from a long line of great people on both sides of this family tree but mainly the African-American side and I know the summary isn’t doing this book justice it deserves the trust me when I say this is such a good book. He writes stories with facts and not accusations he tells it like it is and like it was. There’s many a history lesson in this book and all of that seems to pertain to his family or a situation he himself has lived through I really believe Mr. jealous judges people on the character and what they show him instead of what he assumes about people. He seems to be a student of life and one that is acing the course. I may huge fan of this author and can’t wait to read more books written by him. This book is full of well-known people and they’re all friends or relatives of the author I love learning about Dave Chappelle‘s ancestral history and all the great people he comes from this book is just full of lots of great stuff. Stories history lessons family trees but no matter what the subject is trust me when I say you will not want to put this book down this truly is an excellent book. I read a lot of books on race relations in Black people trying to navigate this obstacle course we call American freedom and I must say Benjamin Tod jealous says book is the first one I have bread that I can see making a difference. It’s a truly great book written with the respect experience and the knowledge to say this is what happened and let you decide how you feel about it. What are you born from this book is they have some truly horrible people in America but they also have some really great people as well and it’s people like the author that’s going to make America a better place in the end. I receive the spot from NetGalley and the publisher but I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.

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It was just okay for me. I saw a lot of what was being said, some I agreed with wholeheartedly, but some of it, not so much. But understand the message of the story. Some things being written about weren’t historically correct, but I understand some have been lied to about history and they believe the lie, because they don’t or won’t believe the truth. But about half I agree with and believe. About half I don’t. But I do agree we all need to work together and stop racism. But I believe there are racists on both sides, not just one side. We all need to see that. And on both sides there are those who aren’t racist and are wanting what’s good for the country. When we start seeing that, maybe, just maybe, things can change.

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This is a book that will stay with me for a while. I found it heartbreaking at times, but also fascinating and inspiring. The author’s ability to find common ground with people from many different backgrounds is inspiring. It was a peek into how systemic racism impacts us all & how we can do a better job healing and working together.

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Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital advanced copy.

Pain and History Often Travel Together

The author is the former president and chief executive officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), serving from 2008 to 2013. This is in part his life story, that of his family, the role of his family in the civil rights movement before it became a movement and how we are still grappling with systemic racism which impacts not only people of color, but all of us, black, white, indigenous, poor and the wealthy.

The author covers a wide swath here as he talks about:

* How his lineage goes back to Thomas Jefferson and England’s monarchy
* Aren’t we all cousins - How many a black person, if we did deep enough, might find that we are related to white cousins we could not fathom being related to, for example President Barack Obama and VP Dick Cheney being cousins and that Cheney was the author’s cousin as well. The vestiges of slavery….
* The roots of race, being bi-racial and the challenges and injustices faced
* The cruelty of slavery and the lasting ramifications, just think, being a slave when your white half-brother owns you, and the sad fact, this was replicated in similar form as white slave owners took advantage of their black female slaves, Thomas Jefferson a prime example...hypocrisy at its worst
* How increased incarceration impacts society at large, because it crosses all social, economic and racial lines
* How he owes his foundation to the wisdom of his grandmother, who as the book is titled, told him, remember "Never Forget Our People Were Always Free."

Book is both serious and at times light hearted, there are smiles baked in, especially when he talks about his god-brother Dave Chappell (yes that Dave Chappell, the comedian).

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I recently read Never Forget Our People Were Always Free by Benjamin Todd Jealous and was incredibly impressed by the quality of the book. Jealous tells an incredibly powerful story about the African American experience in the United States and the long road to freedom. The writing is beautiful and the research is incredibly thorough. Jealous also provides a unique perspective on the African American experience, offering a unique and often overlooked insight into the history of this community. This book is an absolute must read for anyone interested in learning.

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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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