2 out of 4 stars
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Life, Liberty and Injustice is a non-fiction book written by Khadijah Tiya Muhammad. The book includes a personal story about her involvement in a case of bullying, followed by statistics and information about injustices present in society.
The author states everyone has a right to education and a safe environment in our schools, churches, communities and workplaces. Unfortunately, in a world of freedom and liberties, there are always injustices to some. The first half of the book tells the story of Bobby A. Smith, a bi-racial young man. When he was fifteen years old, his mother moved them from inner-city Detroit to West Virginia. In 1992, the streets of Detroit were rife with crime. Drug use, gun use, domestic violence and robbery were increasing, and Bobby’s mother desired a safer learning environment for her son. West Virginia seemed an ideal place to move with its countryside, wildlife, and communities of hard-working families.
The author became the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. One evening she had a visit from Sharon White, Bobby’s mother. Bobby was attending a predominantly white school and was being subjected to bullying and harassment by fellow students. Both the author and the family began a difficult journey to stop this malicious and damaging behaviour and spread the word to the nation that we cannot tolerate this type of prejudice and hatred.
The book contains interesting facts and statistics about cases of bullying and harassment. For example, 77% of school students experience verbal, mental, and physical bullying. The author does a superb job of highlighting what a big issue this is. She also discusses the effects this has on mental health and tells us that 18.2% of the American population suffers from mental illness. The book shares some harrowing facts about how the world is full of hate due to cultural, sexual, religious, and race differences. The book conveys that we must bring communities together to fight such prejudices.
I found some aspects of the book very helpful for readers who may experience any problems with bullying and harassment. There is information on seeking help and what to do if you experience a hate crime. I enjoyed the bullet points explaining what a bully does and what to do if you experience bullying. Also, different types of abuse are defined, such as emotional abuse and cyberbullying. I found it very interesting that some of these terms were new to me, such as blog bullying.
Unfortunately, I found several grammar and spelling errors. I also found I didn’t quite understand some sentences in the book. There were also sudden changes where the author refers to herself from the first person point of view to the third person point of view, which I felt spoilt the flow. Also, there seemed to be a lack of structure in the information given in the book. Many subjects were a little disjointed in parts.
I enjoyed the messages in this book and the inspiring personal aspects, but I struggled with the structure and some unusual sentences. I also felt like the book lost its direction in certain parts. I don’t think the book has undergone professional editing, and I believe this would be helpful to iron out some of the issues. With all things considered, I rate the book 2 out of 4 stars. The book will appeal to adults and young adults who enjoy informative books regarding serious issues. It may also be suitable for those experiencing abuse in any form to help give them the advice to seek help.
Life, Liberty and Injustice
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