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Book Review: South Side of the Glass Wall

South Side of the Glass Wall. Dr. Naomi C. Roberson. GEM Publishing, November 2017, Trade Paperback, 235 pages.

Reviewed by Opal Freeman.

South Side of the Glass Wall is a heartfelt book written by Dr. Naomi Roberson. In it, she details her personal and professional lifelong lessons gained during her childhood in the 1950s on the south side of Chicago and her experiences as an adult. The author also provides some history about the struggles of slaves, domestic abuse, and why our nation is so divided.

As the seventh child of eleven, the author describes her day-to-day life with two parents and ten siblings amidst heightened levels of racial tension. The chapters provide clear descriptions of emotions, incidents, people, and scenery. The reader clearly learns how, amidst life’s challenges, Roberson was raised, how she was educated, how she obtained professional achievements, and why she chose to never give up hope.

The story reveals history of the African American slave, disruption of the family, the general population, and mistreatment. The reader’s awareness is raised by learning from descriptive and lengthy details of incidents related to African Americans. These details include abuse, alleged killings, generational activities, hatred, illiteracy, laws, missed-opportunities, and racism. The occurrence of this history may not be pleasant to read, but it is written with an educational intent. A recommendation is given to create an action plan to break a vicious cycle that has been happening for many years.

The effort to provide unity to our nation is very important, and some action needs to take place. What about creating a method to help break some racial barriers and cultural differences? Roberson’s proposal for an Ethnic Day is an excellent solution to help resolve our cultural communication problems. The combination of food and conversation is universal. The engaging activity can translate into a lifetime experience.

In her book, Roberson provides a descriptive walkthrough of her childhood, adolescence, and adult life. Throughout her life, she experienced family, growing up, education, work, and world changes. While searching for personal destiny, she never gave up hope. I enjoyed her history of growing up in Chicago, and I appreciate the lesson she is passing on.


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