National Black History Month 2012

National Black History Month is a time when we as a nation annually pay tribute to individuals of African or African-American decent who have contributed to our history and culture.  

When Marian sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson, The Voice of a Century by Pam Muñoz Ryan

An introduction to the life of Marian Anderson, extraordinary singer and civil rights activist, who was the first African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, whose life and career encouraged social change. 

Mary McLeod Bethune by Amy Robin Jones

A simple biography of the black educator who was instrumental in creating opportunities for blacks in education and government.

 Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker by Kathryn Lasky

 A biography of Sarah Breedlove Walker who, though born in poverty, pioneered in hair and beauty care products for black women, and became a great financial success.

Mae Jemison: The First African American Woman Astronaut by  Liza N. Burby.

Briefly traces the life of the first African-American woman to go into space, from her childhood in Chicago through her education and work as a doctor to her historic flight.

Demanding Justice: A Story about Mary Ann Shadd Cary  by Jeri Chase Ferris  

Describes the life of Mary Ann Shadd Cary, nineteenth-century educator, writer, newspaper editor, and civil rights worker who was the first African-American woman to enter law school or to publish a newspaper.

Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper by Ann Malaspina [On Order]

Bare feet shouldn't fly. Long legs shouldn't spin. Braids shouldn't flap in the wind. Sit on the porch and be a lady, Papa scolded Alice. In Alice's Georgia hometown, there was no track where an African-American girl could practice, so she made her own crossbar with sticks and rags. With the support of her coach, friends, and community, Alice started to win medals. Her dream to compete at the Olympics came true in 1948. This is an inspiring free-verse story of the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal. Photos of Alice Coachman are also included.

Bessie Coleman: Daring Stunt Pilot  by Trina Robbins 

 biography telling the story of Bessie Coleman, who became the first African American women to earn a pilot's license. Written in graphic-novel format.

Coretta Scott  by Ntozake Shange

Walking many miles to school in the dusty road, young Coretta knew, too well, the unfairness of life in the segregated south.A yearning for equality began to grow.Together with Martin Luther King, Jr., she gave birth to a vision and a journey-with dreams of freedom for all.This extraordinary union of poetic text by Ntozake Shange and monumental artwork by Kadir Nelson captures the movement for civil rights in the United States and honors its most elegant inspiration, Coretta Scott.

She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story by Audrey Vernick

Effa always loved baseball. As a young woman, she would go to Yankee Stadium just to see Babe Ruth's mighty swing. But she never dreamed she would someday own a baseball team. Or be the first-and only-woman ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.From her childhood in Philadelphia to her groundbreaking role as business manager and owner of the Newark Eagles, Effa Manley always fought for what was right. And she always swung for the fences.From author Audrey Vernick and illustrator Don Tate comes the remarkable story of an all-star of a woman.

The Forbidden Schoolhouse: The True and Dramatic Story of Prudence Crandall and Her Students by Suzanne Jurmain.

They threw rocks and rotten eggs at the school windows. Villagers refused to sell Miss Crandall groceries or let her students attend the town church. Mysteriously, her schoolhouse was set on fire-by whom and how remains a mystery. The town authorities dragged her to jail and put her on trial for breaking the law. Her crime? Trying to teach African American girls geography, history, reading, philosophy, and chemistry. Trying to open and maintain one of the first African American schools in America. Exciting and eye-opening, this account of the heroine of Canterbury, Connecticut, and her elegant white schoolhouse at the center of town will give readers a glimpse of what it is like to try to change the world when few agree with you.

Black Women of The Old West by William Loren Katz.

Black women were always part of America's westward expansion. Some escaped slavery to live with the Native Americans, while others traveled west after the Civil War to settle the new lands. They came as servants and as independent pioneers struggling to make a life in the wilderness. Brief text and extraordinary photos record many of the black women who went West to find a new life for themselves and their families.

The Power of One: Daisy Bates and The Little Rock Nine  by Judith Bloom Fradin

Born in a small town in rural Arkansas, Daisy Bates was a journalist and activist who became one of the foremost civil rights leaders in America. In 1957 she mentored the nine black students who were integrated into Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Nothing but Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson  by Sue Stauffacher

Everyone agrees: her mama, her daddy, her teacher, even the policeman. But when Buddy Walker, the play leader on Althea's street in Harlem, watches her play paddle tennis, he sees something more: pure possibility. Buddy buys Althea her very own stringed tennis racket, and before long, she's on her way to becoming a great athlete - and to proving that she's more than just trouble. Althea Gibson, born in 1927, was the first African American ever to compete in and win the Wimbledon Cup. Sue Stauffacher's lively text, paired with vibrant paintings by artist Greg Couch, captures the exuberance, ambition, and triumph of this remarkable woman.