Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The March and Family

Last week, story-slinger showcased Civil Rights leader John Lewis and his new graphic novel March: Book One

This week, I’m shining the light on family history and my most recent picture book.

My father, Hank, with me on his shoulders, a year after the March on Washington

In Riding to Washington, I weave a small family story into the bigger tapestry of the historic March on Washington, celebrating its fiftieth anniversary today, August 28th, 2013.

Back in 1963, my father heard that there would be a large peaceful demonstration in the nation’s capital. He and my grandfather decided to go. Like many others who lived far from Washington, they boarded a chartered bus.

Between Indianapolis and D.C., everyone on the bus encountered racism: several restaurants refused to serve this mixed crowd. Just getting to the March proved to be an eye-opening experience for my father, as he remembered later.

In the picture book, I imagine what it might have been like to be a young girl going to the March with her dad. On the ride to Washington, she faces discrimination for the first time and must decide what to do.

Riding to Washington is now a beautiful picture book, edited by Aimee Jackson, illustrated by David Geister, and published by Sleeping Bear Press

Today, you can find it on many library and bookstore shelves. 

Forgive me for the plug, but Riding to Washington will soon be part of a paperback compendium for young readers called Voices for Freedom (Sleeping Bear Press, September 2013. ISBN: 978-1585368860). 

Monday, August 19, 2013

The March and John Lewis

The story-slinger has been on vacation for a few weeks, but the blog is back just in time to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, which took place on August 28, 1963. 

Today, story-slinger shares a link to a moving story of the March. Stephen Colbert recently interviewed U.S. Representative John Lewis (Georgia), former head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and a longtime leader in the Civil Rights Movement.

Lewis was on the Colbert Report to promote his new graphic-novel-style autobiography March, Book One (co-created with Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell and published by Top Shelf Productions, 2013). You won’t want to miss the stories he has to tell.

One quick story: As a young man, Lewis was inspired by a comic book story (below, left) of Dr. King and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. His own book (below, right) is meant to inspire young people today.