NewsBlaze search box Daily News header

The Courage to Hope Book Review

By     get stories by email

"In the summer of 2010, Shirley Sherrod was catapulted into a media storm that blew apart her life... A right-wing blogger disseminated a video clip of a speech she had given to the Georgia NAACP...

The media ramped up the outrage and, before Sherrod had a chance to defend herself, the Obama administration demanded her resignation. Then, after hearing... the entire speech, public officials and media professionals admitted to being duped and apologized for their rush to judgment...

The Courage to Hope addresses this regrettable episode but also tells Sherrod's own story of growing up in Georgia during the violent years of Jim Crow when her father was murdered by a white neighbor who was never brought to justice."

- Excerpted from the Inside Book Jacket.

A couple of years ago, arch-conservative Andrew Breitbart (since deceased) launched a character assassination on Shirley Sherrod which almost cost the then U.S.D.A. State Director her career while temporarily ruining her reputation. For, he had posted on his website a video edited to make Ms. Sherrod appear to be an unrepentant bigot against Caucasians.

Truth be told, the tenor of her heartfelt remarks in that speech delivered to the NAACP were exactly the opposite. In the address, she spoke about how she had overcome the bitterness she'd felt about the South (including the murder of her own father by a white man never brought to justice) to the point that she became willing to help poor folks of any color.

However, Breitbart's misleading video quoted Ms. Sherod out of context, making no mention of her having made an emotional breakthrough. Instead, it was deliberately designed to leave viewers with the impression that she was an inveterate racist.

Sadly, the clip went viral and soon not only right-wing pundits but even presumably sympathetic colleagues ranging from NAACP President Ben Jealous to officials in the Obama administration began calling for the poor woman's head.

Sherrod was publicly humiliated in the national press as if the poster child for racial intolerance.

Furthermore, she was summarily fired on the spot by her boss without being given an opportunity to defend herself. In the end, the truth did come out, affording the country a very-valuable teachable moment about innocence until proven guilty when the unfairly accused was ultimately exonerated.

Sherrod finally gets to set the record straight in The Courage to Hope, a poignant half-autobiography/half-tale of redemption. Not only does the moving memoir address the infamous incident which thrust the author into the limelight but, perhaps more importantly, it recounts a life story which reveals her to be a real role model well worthy of admiration and emulation.

The Courage to Hope:

How I Stood Up to the Politics of Fear

by Shirley Sherrod

with Catherine Whitney

Atria Books

Hardcover, $24.99

252 pages

ISBN: 978-1-4516-5094-5

To order a copy of The Courage to Hope: AMAZON

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze. Read more reviews by Kam Williams.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Book Publishing News

King Muhammad, also known as Prophet Muhammad issues a challenge to organized religion to find out which book is the greatest literary work of all time.
Nehad Ismail reviews Democratic Transitions, an important book that makes a huge contribution to the subject of democracy, freedoms and human rights.
Vietnam, America's longest war, misunderstood, misreported and misremembered, drained Americans of their will to help others fight evil, fight for freedom.
Marriage and family therapist, Holli Kenley launches a podcast for parents and teens expanding on her educational novel empowering teens to make choices.
The book deals with contemporary issues such as ISIS and how it is spreading geographically in Iraq and Syria. Geographical and political borders don't mean much to ISIS.
The most important book ever written, a survival guide for black Americans, by Author and Prophet - King Nazir Muhammad - How To Be A Valuable Slave.


NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month

Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

Copyright © 2004-2015 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site