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). 


  1. I am so proud to be part of a family that includes such fine human beings as your father, grandfather, and also Jack Teeter and Barbara, and Dorothy Hutchinson, among others, who witnessed to the non-violent, peaceful approach to ending racism. And now you are continuing in their footsteps. Cousin Carol Manuel

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