Archive for February, 2013

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Black History: Talitha’s DVD recommendations

(Originally posted 2 years ago, and worth mentioning again.)

These DVDs are recommended by our daughter Talitha off the top of her head. She wants to make clear that there are other really good movies too.

I agree with her in recommending these.

As with all movies, it would be wise for parents to preview before watching with their children, especially  considering the tension, language, and frightening experiences that are part of stories from this swath of our history.

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Glory Road — Story of “the groundbreaking achievement of Don Haskins, who coached the 1965-66 team from Texas Western University to the NCAA championship, using the first-ever all-black lineup in the championship game and forever changing the rules of college basketball. Texas Western’s underdog season is followed from anxious start to glorious finish. . . . This typically wholesome Disney film doesn’t flinch from the harsh realities of racial tension (including player beatings and vandalized motel rooms) that Texas Western’s black players had to struggle against as their victories began to draw national attention” (Amazon.com review).

Selma, Lord, Selma — It’s 1965, segregation is still the order of the day in the South, Martin Luther King Jr. is leading voter-registration drives, and an Alabama schoolgirl gets caught up in the civil rights movement. . .  .Being forced to guess the number of jellybeans in a jar in order to vote and being gassed and beaten for marching are just some of the indignities Sheyann and her friends endure. Parents should know that two prominent characters are murdered. . . . Appropriate for kids 7 and up with adult guidance” (Amazon.com review). Based on the memoir of the same title by Sheyann Webb.

And the Children Shall Lead — “In 1964 segregation is a reality in Catesville, Mississippi, but 12-year-old Rachel doesn’t notice it because she has many white friends. When a group of civil rights activists comes to town, the tension between black and white citizens grows. It’s now up to Rachel and her friends to persuade the adults to overcome the racial barriers that divide them” (Amazon.com review)

The Great Debaters — “Inspired by real events, The Great Debaters reveals one of the seeds of the Civil Rights Movement in its story of Melvin B. Tolson and his champion 1935 debate club from the all-African-American Wiley College in Texas. . . . The film is also about the state of race relations in America at the height of the Great Depression. With lynchings of black men and women a common form of entertainment and black subjugation for many rural whites, the idea of talented and highly intelligent African-American young people learning to think on their feet during debates would seem almost a hopeless endeavor” (Amazon.com review).

The Rosa Parks Story

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Black History: Children’s books

For Martin Luther King Day last month, Jill Swanson made the following list of relevant books she’s reviewed at Orange Marmalade, her blog that’s devoted to children’s literature–what a great resource! You can use the search box there at her website to find her posts about any of these you’re interested in.

FICTION:

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson  – Betty Bao Lord
Jackie & Me  — Dan Gutman
The Lions of Little Rock — Kristin Levine
One Crazy Summer — Rita Williams-Garcia

NON-FICTION:

Belle, The Last Mule at Gee’s Bend: A Civil Rights Story — Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Bettye Stroud, illus. by John Holyfield
Child of the Civil Rights Movement — Paula Young Shelton, illus. by Raul Colón
Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave — Laban Carrick Hill, illus. by Bryan Collier
Delivering Justice: W.W. Law and the Fight for Civil Rights — James Haskins, illus. by Benny Andrews
Frederick Douglass (Picture Book Biography) — David A. Adler
I Have a Dream (Book & CD) — Martin Luther King, Jr., illus. by Kadir Nelson
Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told— Walter Dean Myers, illus. by Bonnie Christensen
I’ve Seen the Promised Land: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — Walter Dean Myers, illus. by Leonard Jenkins
Marching For Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don’t You Grow Weary— Elizabeth Partridge
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom (Caldecott Honor Book) — Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Kadir NelsonA Nat
A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis — Matt de le Peña, illus. by Kadir Nelson
Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change — Michelle Cook, illus. by various artists
Rosa — Nikki Giovanni, illus. by Bryan Collier
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down (Jane Addams Honor Book (Awards)) — Andrea Davis Pinkney, illus. by Brian Pinkney
Through My Eyes — Ruby Bridges
Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad— written and illustrated by Henry Cole
The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights — Russell Freedman
When Marian Sang:The True Recital of Marian Anderson — Pam Munoz Ryan, illus. by Brian Selznick

POETRY:

The Negro Speaks of Rivers — Langston Hughes, illus. by E.B. Lewis

Thank you, Jill!

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If you decide to purchase an item here, I do appreciate it if you link through from this site or from the sidebar at my travel blog. That way, I receive a small commission, which costs you nothing extra. I recommend only items that I think will be of interest to my readers and that I probably have used personally or wish I did. 

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Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

Black History: Nightingale wasn’t the only pioneer out there

Quick! If I say, “Crimea . . . Bosporus . . . lantern . . . nurse,” who do you think of? Most of the western world would answer, “Florence Nightingale,” the pioneer nursing reformer.

Several years ago, Talitha and I turned our backs on Westminster Abbey and the Tower of Big Ben and hiked across the Westminster Bridge toward St. Thomas’ Hospital, looking for the Florence Nightingale Museum, which we finally found hidden away on a side street. St. Thomas’ was where Miss Nightingale worked for change when she returned to London from Turkey at the end of the Crimean War. (I’ve reviewed the museum at my travel blog, Tell Me When to Pack.)

As always, the last stop and climax for Talitha was the gift shop. As always, she persuaded me to buy something for her–”Just one thing? Please?”

mary seacole

Mary Seacole, by Albert Charles Challen
National Portrait Gallery, London

The one thing was a book on whose cover was the picture of a black woman: Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands, her autobiography (available in several paperback editions and free for Kindle).

I’d never heard of Mary Seacole, who traveled from her Jamaica home to London to volunteer as a nurse for the Crimea. She was rejected, and so went to the Crimea at her own expense to labor for the war wounded and ill.

It seems common to think of Seacole and Nightingale as rivals, but as one writer says:

The manner of their service was drastically different. Even before she went to the Crimea, Nightingale knew that surmounting the bureaucratic problems of the army’s medical services and establishing a female nursing group which authorities and medical men
alike could respect was going to be more
important than any individual patient care she might do. Nightingale gained her reputation by the organization of nursing services during the Crimean War. . . .

Mrs. Seacole’s strength seemed to be more in hands-on activities such as direct patient care. She was an entrepreneur who was able to use her skills as a merchant to finance her medical and nursing practice. It is probably true that Mrs. Seacole had more practical experience, especially with tropical diseases. However, both administrative and hands-on care are necessary for the effective delivery of health care. Both women made a great contribution to the history of nursing in their own way and, hopefully, there is room for both of them. . . .

Mary Grant Seacole rose about the barriers of racial prejudice and demonstrated determinism, compassion, and caring and is a fitting role model for both blacks and non-blacks. There is much to admire in both of these women who had different roles in nursing but the same goal. Although forgotten for many years, Mrs. Seacole has been rediscovered.

Today, Florence Nightingale is a widely viewed as a heroine, as she should be. Mary Seacole was forgotten for a long time, but that is changing. One example: The design is complete for a monument to be erected on the St. Thomas’ Hospital grounds.

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If you decide to purchase an item here, I do appreciate it if you link through from this site or from the sidebar at my travel blog. That way, I receive a small commission, which costs you nothing extra. I recommend only items that I think will be of interest to my readers and that I probably have used personally or wish I did. 

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