Growing up in Chicago during the turbulent 1960s, Sam Childs knows what it’s like to be the rock. His father Roland, a well-known civil rights activist, is the perfect example. Like his friend Martin Luther King, Jr., Roland steadfastly believes in the cause of peaceful demonstrations and passive resistance–to stand strong against the waves of prejudice in order to promote equality and harmony among the races.
However, there are many in the Black community who believe that the peaceful approach simply isn’t working. Among these is Sam’s older brother, Stick. Against his father’s wishes, Stick joins the Black Panther Party, an organization that has a reputation for using violence to promote change. As for Sam, he is torn between these two extremes–the rock and the river.
What occurs in 1968 will set these two views on a collision course which could possibly tear the city, the nation, and Sam, apart.
The Rock and the River, by Kekla Magoon, is a heart-breaking story of conflict, tragedy, and, in the end, hope for the future.