Tag Archives: racism

Pink and Say

by Patricia Polacco
Published by Philomel Books, 1994

This amazing true story, told through generations, is the story of Sheldon Russell Curtis, who was injured and left for dead on the battlefields somewhere in Georgia. His nickname was “Say.” Pinkus Aylee, a negro soldier for the Union, came upon him on the battlefield, and did something that would haunt Sheldon forever. Pink brought him home to his mother’s house not far from the field, and she nursed Say to health. One day, soldiers came looking for fugitives, and, finding none but suspecting it all the same, the soldiers shot Pink’s mother dead. Confederate soldiers caught them both, brought them to Andersonville, the worst of the Confederate camps. The two boys were wrenched apart, and Say never saw Pink again. He was summarily hanged hours after his capture and his body was thrown in a lime pit. As a negro soldier, he was useless to the Confederates. Sheldon survived the camp, though he was skin and bones by the end of his time there. He kept Pink’s story alive for generations.

This story is a good book for all grades for Virginia and U.S. History studies of the Civil War. This book puts faces with the names of people affected by the War Between the States.

Awards: West Virginia Children’s Book Award
Accessed: Augusta County Library

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Tar Beach

By Faith Ringgold
Published by Crown Publishers, 1991

Cassie Louise Lightfoot lies on a mattress on her tar beach on the apartment building roof in New York City. In her imagination, she flies over the city and imagines how she could rescue her family from racism and unfair treatment. She imagines how the George Washington Bridge is hers, and how she would buy the Union Building, (which her father built, but ironically, could not be a part of), and an ice cream factory. She dreams her family successful and easy compared to the reality of the hard, dangerous work her father does.

This Caldecott-winning book is a really neat book to use for discussing African-American history, because in addition to the civil rights issues that are present in the book, the author originally had created the story on a story quilt. The last page of the book outlines the heritage from which her quilt comes from, and the quilting is reflected throughout the book.

Accessed: Augusta County Library

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