With simplicity and grace, Andrea Davis Pinkney presents her young readers with the story of Sojourner Truth’s long and tumultuous life in her children’s book Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride. Brian Pinkney’s watercolor illustrations bring Truth’s strong, courageous spirit to light, inviting the reader to contemplate the impact of her willingness to stand up and speak out for what she believed.
With her children’s book Eliington Was Not a Street, Ntozake Schange captures her adult self, red umbrella in hand, reflecting on the experiences of her childhood in a home that was filled with the black innovators of the time. In his oil-based illustrations, Kadir Nelson evokes the rich cultural and historical significance of the array of musicians, scholars, writers, politicians, athletes, and activists who crossed the threshold into Schange’s home.
Profiling the unique courage of youth with her children’s book A Sweet Smell of Roses, Angela Johnsonhonors the untold story of the children who joined forces with adults to fight for their civil rights. Buoyed by their belief in something bigger than themselves, two young girls slip out unnoticed by their mother to join the marchers. Adding depth to the narrative, artist Eric Velasquez’s charcoal drawings focus in on the human emotions playing across the faces of those marching for their freedom.
Discover more… Angela Johnson – Eric Velasquez – http://ericvelasquez.com/ #blackbrilliance #blackhistoryismore #blackhistorymonth
Day #16 – Black History Month: Books Worth Reading…
Kadir Nelson’s children’s book Nelson Mandela brings Mandela’s lifelong fight for equality, personal sacrifice, and eventual triumph as the first black president of South Africa to life with his poetry. Nelson’s vivid technicolor illustrations bring the painful apartheid years to light while illuminating Mandela’s journey from young boy to international hero.
With her children’s book The People Could Fly, Virginia Hamilton retells a timeless folktale shared by slaves as they endured the lash of the whip and longed for freedom on the plantations of the American south. Passed down from generation to generation, Hamilton, the granddaughter of a fugitive slave, originally heard the tale as a child. Leo and Diane Dillon’s powerful illustrations enhance the magical story of slaves who had wings, who used those wings to soar away from the heavy chains of slavery, and the story of all those slaves left behind, praying for their own chance at freedom.
With her children’s book Satchel Paige Lesa Cline-Ransome’s shares the larger than life baseball legend. James E. Ransome’s bold, flashy paintings echo Paige’s showmanship and his unparalleled talent on the pitcher’s mound. Unflinching in its depiction of the realities of life on the road in the Negro Leagues, Ransome’s narrative portrays the incredible record crowds drawn by Paige’s showboating as well as the hard nights when restaurants and hotels alike turned the black team members away.
With her children’s book, Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman (available in the Briggs library), Nikki Grimes introduces young readers to a woman who defied the race and gender limitations of her time to soar through the skies as a pilot. Through the imagined memories of significant individuals in her life alongside E.B. Lewis’ watercolor illustrations, Bessie’s courageous character and spirit of adventure comes to life.
With her children’s book, To Be a Drum, Evelyn Coleman presents a rhythmic celebration of black history in the United States rooted in the beat of the African drum. Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson’s tactile, earthy illustrations underscore the painful journey from the shores of Africa, the resilience of the black spirit through overwhelming hardship, and the ultimate triumphs in every field from medicine to literature to politics. Coleman’s narrative voice deftly navigates the diverse landscape of her readers; everyone takes something away, though each subsequent reading reveals new depth depending on one’s age and life experience.
Don’t miss as SAG-AFTRA Foundation presents the Storyline Online reading of the book by actor James Earl Jones:
Jacqueline Woodson shares her own childhood through vivid narrative poetry in her memoir for young adults Brown Girl Dreaming. In tracing her roots from her birth in Columbus, Ohio, to her beloved home with her grandparents in Greenville, South Carolina, to moving with her mother and three siblings to Brooklyn, New York, as a seven-year-old, Woodson paints the canvas of her life as a young black girl growing up amidst the backdrop of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. And it is words, not necessarily those on paper, but those that lived in her rich imaginative world, that paved her path forward.
Inspired by her father’s stories of growing up in the midst of a family active in the Civil Right’s Movement, Pamela Tuck turns out a tale of hope and perseverance in the face of adversity with her children’s book As Fast As Words Could Fly. Young Mason Steele turns his father’s words into polished letters for a local group of civil rights activists and soon receives a gift from the group: his very own typewriter. Eric Velasquez’s colorful oil paintings breathe life into the narrative as Mason and his brothers become the first black students to attend the local formerly all white high school. Mason’s skilled typewriting eventually wins him the grudging respect of his fellow students, teachers, and the local community as he wins the county typing tournament.
Don’t miss as SAG-AFTRA Foundation presents the Storyline Online reading of the book by actor Dulé Hill: