RaveThe Los Angeles Review of BooksAs white conservative backlash grows in the United States, Keisha N. Blain’s new biography of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer stands out for its relevance. Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America is a deft, eloquent, and deeply engaging narrative of one of the fiercest and most formidable Black female activists of the 20th century ... Blain’s book differs in that each chapter identifies the work of present-day activists and draws parallels to the battles that Hamer herself joined ... a deft examination of Fannie Lou Hamer, one of our nation’s greatest civil rights heroines, who unfailingly spoke truth to power.
RaveLos Angeles Review of Books... a lavish and detailed account of the various milestones that have defined the pageant for decades ... a spellbinding narrative replete with information about one of the nation’s more iconic events ... contestants of color...faced racism from pageant fans who were resentful that a non-White woman was chosen as the representative of American beauty and womanhood. These are some of the book’s most riveting narratives. Mifflin shows the periodic moments of indecision that have plagued the pageant in lucid detail ... Mifflin gives an intensely detailed description of Vanessa Williams’s selection as the pageant’s first Black Miss America and the backlash and racial fallout that followed. Mifflin’s perspective on the racial, cultural, and sexual stereotyping; the conspiracy theories; and on Williams’s resignation following the nude photograph scandal is deeply informative and compelling ... a fascinating and entertaining account for anyone interested in reading a first-rate analysis of the United States’s most distinctive beauty contest.