The Sprouts: Spread Your Wings

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This week Skoogie and O have winter break.  We've shifted some of our plans due to illness, but we've definitely had time for reading.  In between naps and "couch time," O and I are commemorating Black History Month.

He remembers the ship at the Field Museum last September; we walked through small quarters where hundreds of slaves were housed as they sailed across the Atlantic from Africa. But he’s still trying to understand it all….why were they taken from Africa… why were people treated that way…why did the signs say only white people…why couldn’t she sit where she wanted??? There will be lots more questions, thoughts and discussions. But for now we are enjoying a few books by African American Authors who can help evoke the images and emotions….even if we may never truly understand the why.

A few of our favorites so far include:

Wings by Christopher Myers
The author reinvents the Greek myth, Icarus and encourages kids to soar with their own set of wings. Ikarus Jackson, recently moved to the area and is taunted for being different when neighbors learn he can fly. The story is narrated by a classmate, who can relate to loneliness herself. She takes a stand and rejoices in the beauty of flight and individuality. This short video featuring the author (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZy9dM0ZWTQ) adds an additional connection.

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni
Rosa Parks became a hero because she "was not going to give in to that which was wrong." A catalyst for the famous Montgomery Bus boycott in Alabama, the book depicts Rosa, not as a tired woman after a day’s work, but a woman tired of injustice. “Tired of putting white people first, of stepping off sidewalks so white people could pass… she was tired of separate entrances, drinking fountains and colored balconies…she was tired of separate and definitely tired of not equal.”

Goin' Someplace Special by Patricia McKissak
On her first solo excursion, Tricia Ann discovers that the color of her skin limits many of the places she can go in her segregated city. Then she finds a place that we hold a dear to our hearts, where all are welcome: the public library.

Two of the books even inspired one of our meals for the week, Aunt Flossie’s Hats (And Crab Cakes Later) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard and Sweet Potato Pie by Kathleen D. Lindsey. O has been sick since last Thursday and last night had an unsettled stomach. So we’re postponing the crab cakes until later...and will keep reading instead.

Our list includes:
More Than Anything Else by Marie Bradby
Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport
Fishing Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Ellington Was Not A Street by Ntozake Shange

I hope to add another post soon about our crab cakes dinner and more reading discoveries.

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