From an historical perspective, what does Having Our Say provide in regard to America's growth as a nation and its integration of the races?

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clamo88 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One important learning I gained from this book was that, in some respects, many African-Americans had more freedom before desegregation than the time just after desegregation.

Desegregation created a backlash that presented more barriers to freedom in their daily lives.  While they gained freedom "on paper," this backlash made it more difficult for them to own and operate businesses and go about their daily lives in the way that desegregation promised.

While we've made progress in that respect, we are still integrating the races today.  There is still racism, there are still people who think that mixed-race marriages are wrong, and there are still people who believe that whites are superior intellectually.

My take on the question is that, Having Our Say provides a point-in-time reference to the emotional views of race relations from which we can evaluate progress to date.  It also provides specific examples of how those views made it possible or impossible for African-Americans to live equally with whites in the United States during specific historical times to present.

 

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This question looks as if there may be some particular short answer you are supposed to repeat and I may not know what that is.  Here is what I would say if asked, though:

To me, the best answer here would be that it provides a very good personalized overview of America's growth in terms of racial relations.  You have the story of two women born in the 1890s, written by them 100 years later.  They were educated and black.

Because of this, they lived and observed almost all of the Jim Crow era and all the struggles to end that.  This means that they book gives a very good overview of this history from their personal perspectives.

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