Civil Rights Reads for Black History Month (page 2)

Civil Rights Reads for Black History Month

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Updated on Apr 17, 2014

Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue (Puffin 2007) “How long before the sit-ins are over, Mama?” “Till folks get what they want,” is Mama’s reply in this book about the famous North Carolina sit-ins. The young protagonist, Connie, watches as Dr. King galvanizes the movement in Greensboro—a movement that becomes very personal to Connie when her brothers and sister join the NAACP and refuse one day to get up from the lunch counter that denies them service. The somewhat murky illustrations are evocative of a darker time in American history. For grades 1-4.

Freedom’s Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories, written by Ellen S. Levine (Putnam Juvenile, 2000) Historians generally focus on adult accounts of the Civil Rights Movement, like the story of Rosa Parks—but the account of teenager Claudette Colvin, whose refusal to give up her bus seat preceded Parks’ by nine months, is a reminder that children and young adults felt the impact of these momentous time as well. Levine interviews 29 others who lived through the struggle as young people and she tells their stories with candor and empathy. If any book can be simultaneously heartbreaking and inspiring, it is Levine’s Freedom’s Children. For grades 4-7.

These stories—the fictitious, the fresh, and the familiar—are all imbued with the fierce hope of the Civil Rights Movement and rousing in their own right.

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