The fascinating untold story of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, America's first black paratroopers. While white American soldiers battled Hitler's tyranny overseas, African-Americans who enlisted to fight for their country faced the tyranny of racial discrimination on the homefront. Segregated from white soldiers and relegated to service duties and menial tasks, enlisted black men faced what Ashley Bryan calls in the foreword "the racism that was our daily fare at the time." When 1st Sgt. Walter Morris, whose men served as guards at The Parachute School at Fort Benning, saw white soldiers training to be paratroopers, he knew his men would have to train and act like them to be treated like soldiers. Daring initiative and leadership led to the creation of the "Triple Nickles." Defying the deeply ingrained stereotypes of the time, the Triple Nickles proved themselves as capable and tough as any white soldiers, but they were never used in combat, serving instead as smoke jumpers extinguishing Japanese-ignited forest fires in the Pacific Northwest. Stone's richly layered narrative explores the cultural and institutional prejudices of the time as well as the history of African-Americans in the military. Her interviews with veterans of the unit provide groundbreaking insight. Among the archival illustrations in this handsomely designed book are drawings Bryan created while he served in World War II. An exceptionally well-researched, lovingly crafted and important tribute to unsung American heroes. Copyright 2012 from Kirkus Reviews.
Racial duplicity threatens an idyllic African American community in the turn-of-the-century South in a dazzling debut inspired by the early life of Zora Neale Hurston.
Whether she's telling the truth or stretching it, Zora Neale Hurston is a riveting storyteller. Her latest creation is a shape-shifting gator man who lurks in the marshes, waiting to steal human souls. But when boastful Sonny Wrapped loses a wrestling match with an elusive alligator named Ghost -- and a man is found murdered by the railroad tracks soon after -- young Zora's tales of a mythical evil creature take on an ominous and far more complicated complexion, jeopardizing the peace and security of an entire town and forcing three children to come to terms with the dual-edged power of pretending. Zora's best friend, Carrie, narrates this coming-of-age story set in the Eden-like town of Eatonville, Florida, where justice isn't merely an exercise in retribution, but a testimony to the power of community, love, and pride. A fictionalization of the early years of a literary giant, this astonishing novel is the first project ever to be endorsed by the Zora Neale Hurston Trust that was not authored by Hurston herself.
Segregated American clubs were willing to let African-American dancer Josephine Baker (1906-1975) perform, but they wouldn't let her use the front door. Powell (Frog Brings Rain) chooses a potent metaphor for Baker's hidden anger: "hot magma, molten lava, trapped within." When Baker arrived in France, the country embraced both her artistry and her blackness, and "Her deep volcanic core filled with emotion, filled with music erupted." Robinson (Rain!) draws round faces gazing with amazement at the woman onstage whose pearl necklace flies one way and whose hips swing the other. Baker's entire life spreads out in this tapestry of words, from a St. Louis childhood surrounded by music to her triumphs all over Europe followed, sadly, by debt and illness. Robinson's naif, folk-style figures look like puppets, and make some grim moments easier to endure ("Those ugly rumors incited some white folks/ to beat, murder, and burn black East St. Louis"). Although Powell's focus is on Baker, the contrast between segregated America and welcoming France will not be lost on readers. Ages 7 to 10. Copyright 2013, Review from Publishers Weekly.
This stunning graphic novel biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. describes the apartheid South of his time, which in many ways was not very different from the early days of slavery. Included are descriptions of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the formation of civil rights groups, mass movements against segregation, such as the Albany Movement and the Children's Crusade in Birmingham, and the influence on King of Gandhi, with his nonviolent approach to resistance. Flowers' text smoothly incorporates excerpts from many of King's most moving speeches and concludes with a brief look at his legacy. Flowers tells a masterful story in musical prose, while Manu Chitrakar carries the tale into the vivid idiom of Patua art, turning King's historic journey into a truly universal legacy.
Following books on Abraham Lincoln and Amelia Earhart, this third title in Meltzer and Eliopoulos's Ordinary People Change the World series traces the life of Rosa Parks from the segregated classrooms of her childhood to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. As in the previous books, Parks is portrayed as a roundheaded cartoon child, even during her adult years, underscoring the idea that anyone is capable of bringing about monumental change. Moments of humor help balance out the harsh racial prejudice on display, but it's Parks's determination that stands out strongest. "I knew what the rules said, " she says. "But I also knew in my heart: That's not how you treat people." Ages 3 to 5. Review from Publishers Weekly.
August 4 - August 10 is the final week to participate in Fizz, Boom, Read!, ELPL's Summer Reading program. There is still time to earn prizes before the program officially closes on Tuesday, August 12 at 9pm. Remember, you can go back and complete weeks that you skipped. We've listed some important dates for the end of the program below. If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com, or talk to any staff member the next time you are at the library.
Wednesday, August 6, starting at 1pm, we will be screening the short films created during the library's LEGO Animation program. Come see what our young film makers (ages 7-13) created during the two day program. After the short films screening the library will show The LEGO Movie, starring Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks and Will Ferrell. Free popcorn while supplies last. LEGO Animation short films will be shown at 1pm, the LEGO Movie will be shown immediately after the short film screening.
***PLEASE NOTE NEW DAY FOR NNO/TOUCH A TRUCK***Thursday, August 7, from 6-8pm the library will be celebrating National Night Out and the end of summer reading with our second annual National Night Out/Touch-A-Truck celebration. All sorts of vehicles will be in the library's parking lot for children to climb on, touch, sit in, and honk! Meet their friendly drivers, see Pumper & Pals' safety show, visit with K-9 officers and dogs, meet police horses, jump around in the bouncy house, dunk people in the dunk tank, and enjoy picnic food and beverages.
Fizz, Boom, Read! online forms will disappear from elpl.org at midnight on Sunday, August 10.
Fizz, Boom, Read! prizes can be picked up as late as Tuesday, August 12 at 9pm.
More awesome stuff has arrived for the studio!! We got two 27" iMacs up and running and ready to go. A few things for recording came in: some cords, an audio interface, and two condenser microphones! I'm so excited for this to be up and running. We should be getting the keyboard in soon as well as some other odds and ends. Remember to check back here for updates on the studio and look for the opening, hopefully, in September!
Grand Traverse Pie Company has agreed to extend the celebration beyond Library Card Sign-Up Month. From August 1 - December 31 2014, ELPL library cardholders will receive a free slice of pie with $5.99 or higher purchase. This special offer is available at the Grand Traverse Pie Company location at 1403 E Grand River Avenue only.