Small Moments: A Child's Memories of the Civil Rights Movement

Small Moments: A Child's Memories of the Civil Rights Movement - Mary M. Barrow

Sometimes when I am reading, I feel as if I am no longer reading the words on the page but I have become a part of the novel. I felt this way while reading this novel which occurs at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. The words flowed smoothly and time gently moved along. Amelia had nothing left but this family, her attachment to this world, and the children were her anchor. The connection with her husband and son were gone, their stories were full of heartache and yet her heart loved these children whom she has cared for, for years.


Coming from the South, the family has just moved to NJ and these neighborhoods are not used to having coloreds among them. There is a bridge that separates these individuals and as the new neighbors relay this information to the family, Amelia doesn’t take too kindly to their remarks. Amelia has cared for this family for years and this is her livelihood. Mother listens to the women’s remarks, just letting it slide off her shoulder but their harsh way of speaking tells me that father will fit right in with this neighborhood. It angered me whenever father opened his mouth. His hatred sprang forth to all areas of his world and there was not much that pleased him. His voice was loud and intense and his children’s ears were open, their young, vulnerable ears were listening and I feared their opinions would be affected by the man whose voice rang the loudest.


Amelia’s heart was heavy, her life had not been easy and these children who she cared for were the bright spot of her day. As her life moves forward, her days grow long and her walk slowed down. The children have been exposed to both sides of life during this period of time and times are changing in their big world. The ending was fantastic as I finally put the book down. The cover on the front is an excellent description of the characters and dispositions that I embraced inside this novel. I stared at this cover, it was true, this image captures the true essence of Amelia.

I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Wise Ink Creative Publishing in exchange for an honest review.