Small Acts of Courage: A Legacy of Endurance and the Fight for Democracy

St. Martin’s. May 2024. 304p. ISBN 9781250288851. $30. BIOG
In 2020, award-winning MSNBC broadcast journalist Velshi (The Trump Indictments) was shot with a rubber bullet by Minneapolis police while covering an antiracist protest. The event jarred him into pondering the duties of citizenship and the acts of courage and compassion incumbent on people to improve their communities, as he describes in this biography/memoir with distinctive insights into the nature of citizenship. Velshi’s great-grandfather immigrated from India to South Africa by leaping from a ship into the shark-infested ocean and swimming to shore; his grandfather studied under Mahatma Gandhi on Tolstoy Farm, the spiritual heart of Gandhi’s nonviolent civil rights campaign in South Africa; and his parents fled to Kenya to avoid South Africa’s oppressive apartheid regime and later immigrated to Canada, where his father became Ontario’s first elected legislator of Indian descent. In 2015, the author himself became a U.S. citizen.
VERDICT This family saga educates, entertains, and fascinates as a study of the Indian and Ismaili Muslim diasporas and of immigrants’ countless contributions to their new homelands.
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