As I have read Holding On I've found it to be a very interesting read that holds very true to its name. I believe one of the greatest strengths of this books it that it discusses everyday people, which makes it a very relatable read for multiple age groups. Although this is a strength it can also serve as a weakness, while some stories may relate to individuals they may find the majority of other stories to be irrelevant and possibly boring.
I chose to write for Harold C. Cotton because of the timing of his story. The civil rights movement is always taught in schools from an outsider’s point of view. They cover the big picture items like silent protests and important speeches. But, in the heart of all of those major events there were small changes, such as Cotton deciding to allow both races to sit on the shoe shine bench. What was even more intriguing is that Cotton was an African American business owner during a time of strife for people of color. By deciding to not let his store be segregated he risked his whole lively hood, and he did so with confidence. I believe my favorite part of his section is when he decided to desegregate the shoeshine stand. He simply said,” anybody that come in here can get up on the stand.” (Isay 58) It was a simple decision for him and one that he stood by with confidence even when approached by his landlord. Who in turn respected his decision. A reoccurring theme of Cotton’s section is the idea of doing things right. For instance, him going to school for hat blocking, while he already had experience blocking hats he pursued more knowledge in order to be sure he was doing proper work. In a much larger sense, he corrected things by desegregating his shoe stand. He knew that it was wrong for segregation to be any part of his business and this knowledge influenced his decision to make his store friendly to all races.