They Didn't Give Up

Three Heroes for Black History Month

Bad News for Outlaws      Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal / Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illustrations by R. Gregory Christie

Bass Reeves rode tall in the saddle. He once “single-handedly pulled a steer out of mud up to its neck.” He was a superb shot with pistol or rifle and he was the fear of every crook in the Indian Territory. When this tall, strong, black deputy federal marshal was given an arrest warrant for a criminal, he never gave up until the named man or woman was brought back dead or alive to Judge Isaac Parker, the “Hanging Judge.”

The Hallejuah Flight      The Hallelujah Flight / Phil Bildner; illustrated by John Holyfield

James Banning had a dream that astonished his mechanic, Thomas Allen. “Mr. Allen, my dream is to fly a plane from sea to shining sea, and this here 0XX6 Eagle Rock is our plane. But first I’ll need you to overhaul the engine.” It was 1932 and most everybody was broke. How could they afford the repairs and fuel to keep the biplane in the air? Banning knew how, “Whenever people give us food, fuel and supplies along the way, they can write their names on the tip of the wing. They’ll fly into the history books right along with us!” Allen was convinced, joined as co-pilot and mechanic, and the transcontinental flight soon took off from Los Angeles for New York. This is the bright and colorful story of their success. It's also on this year's Texas Bluebonnet Master List.

Rosa      Rosa / Nikki Giovanni; illustrated by Bryan Collier

The December day in 1955 a quiet seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama refused to move to the back of the bus and what happened as a result. After Rosa Parks’s arrest, her friends got together to help her and organized a year-long boycott of the city bus system. Local ministers spoke, including, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., a lawsuit was filed, and a year later the United States Supreme Court ruled that segregation in transportation was illegal.