The New York Times
Her thoughtful book is a gift to a new generation of readers, who need to know this story just as they are learning about the Freedom Riders, the Birmingham bombings and the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
The Washington Post
This intimate and candid account…. personalizes politics, jangles nerves and opens minds.
Green’s work brims with real-life detail from the journalist’s eye and ear and joins the likes of Diane McWhorter’s Carry Me Home in further developing the dimensions of the South’s desegregation struggle—particularly from the perspective of white communities—for general readers and scholars of the late 20th-century civil rights movement.
Both intimate and ambitious, this is a far-reaching account of the political and social history of segregation and desegregation in Virginia that also reveals the very real human costs of this history. Moving and clear-eyed, damning and hopeful, this is an essential read.
Green feels compelled to stare down her past, and she does so with uncommon humanity.
New York 1 News
The story of integrating American public schools has gotten drowned out by the much louder, dramatic, and violent history of the Civil Rights movement. But no struggle is as heartrending as one involving children. Return with Kristen Green to her hometown in Virginia to find out how people she loved and admired could have supported such an injustice. You’ll be wiser if you do.
Charles J. Shields,
An engaging and well-written book on the impact of school closures, told from a unique biographical perspective. Using her skills as a journalist to uncover the layers of history in her home town, Green delivers a deeply moving portrayal of one of the very sad histories in American race relations. This book is difficult to put down and a must-read.
William Julius Wilson,
Mystery wrapped in history with a touch of suspense and personal horror: Kristen Green’s stunner of a book is a ride back into a past you’ll wish had never happened. This is historical sleuthing at its finest.
A potent introduction to a nearly forgotten part of the civil rights movement and a personalized reminder of what it was truly about.
Absorbing. . . . A merger of history both lived and studied, Green’s book looks beyond the publicized exploits of community leaders to reveal the everyday people who took great risks and often suffered significant loss during the struggle against change in one ‘quaint, damaged community.’
Green has rendered a deeply moving account of historical injustice and a personal search for redemption for her family’s role in it.
A vivid reminder of how things were, not so very long ago.
It’s a story that still shames Virginia, and Richmonder Kristen Green tells it with candor, including her own family’s role.