This was at times deeply moving and at other times a little on the dry side, so I had a hard time paying attention. Still, there's no doubt this is an important set of essays and social studies of the turn of the century (1900s) and the lives of black people living at that time. Only 40 years had passed since the end of the Civil War and the abolishment of slavery.
In my high school, the Reconstruction was barely touched upon, so getting a more in depth detailing of all that happened during that time was certainly illuminating - and far too similar to what we're still dealing with today, not just for black for but all people of color and other minority groups. It brought into clear focus all of the trials and issues that the former slaves and future generations had while adapting to their so-called freedom.
This is probably more of a three-star read for me, to be honest, but the importance of this to history and to understanding race relations today bumps it up another star.