Celebrating African American Musicians
African-American musicians, singers, and composers have contributed enormously to our nation’s history. The remarkable musical achievements of African Americans have strongly and clearly shaped the sound of American music -- giving our Nation's musical vista a rich collection of uniquely American styles.
The career of Marian Anderson, the world-class contralto who was denied permission to sing in Constitution Hall because of her race, symbolizes the achievements of many black American musicians. Performing instead at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, she drew an audience of 75,000 and inspired the world not only with her rich musical gifts, but also with her determination and courage.
The following stories are about music, inspiration and determination. Good lessons to read about during Black History and American Music Month.
The Bat Boy and His Violin
Written by Gavin Curtis, Illustrated by E. B. Lewis
Published by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing/Richard Jackson Books/Atheneum Books for Young Readers; ISBN: 0-689-84115-9
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs., Price: $5.99
Set in 1948, Reginald's father is the "manager of the Dukes, the worst team in the Negro National League," and eager to have his son be batboy to the team. Reginald, however, has a passion for playing his violin and is determined to continue no matter what his role is on the team. The burgeoning relationship between father and son, and the subliminal message that a talent for music is as admirable as a gift for hitting baseballs makes this an unusual and valuable book.
Selma G. Lanes ©2001 Parents' Choice
Bring on That Beat
By: Rachel Isadora
Published by Penguin Putnam/G.P. Putnam's Sons, ISBN: 0-399-23232-X
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs., Price: $14.99
With dramatic oil paintings in black, white and gray, artist Rachel Isadora evokes Harlem during the 1930s when jazz was everywhere. Though we can't hear the music, we can almost see it. This is a visual tour de force.
Selma G. Lanes ©2002 Parents' Choice
Reprinted with the permission of the Parents' Choice Foundation. © Copyright 2012 Parents' Choice Foundation. All rights reserved.
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