I had mentioned this book in a previous post called Desire, Choice, and Consequences, but for MLK Day, I thought I would bring it up again.
The Story of Ruby Bridges (Scholastic) is a non-fiction picture book that tells the beautiful story of a six-year-old black girl who faced incredible hatred from whites in her hometown of New Orleans when she became the first black child to attend Frantz Elementary School in 1960. Her determination not to be defined by the hatred of the whites who verbally abused her every day—and her willingness to forgive—is inspiring. It’s a great picture of what the gospel of grace has to do with social issues.
What are your favorite books about social justice?
I recently heard an interview with the grown-up Ruby Bridges: http://www.npr.org/2010/12/01/131727013/Wisdom-From-A-Trailblazer-Ruby-Bridges-Talks-Racism-In-Education .
“Sympathy” by Paul Laurence Dunbar. It’s a poem, but still really good. 🙂
Does “Everything That Rises Must Converge” (the short story) count? When I read it, it was one of the times when I actually am thankful for my literature class, because I would not have understood a word of it if I hadn’t had a bit of a walkthrough. I read it, said, “huh?” then did the lesson on it, and then went back and read it again, really enjoying it the second time around. Anyway, that was what came to mind for literature on social injustice. Also, MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech, but that goes without saying.
Prince Caspian, C.S. Lewis.
I just read the picture book MOSES to my Kindergarten class this past week, and I had never read it before.* I was blown away. Based on true events related in her narrative, MOSES tells the story of how Harriet Tubman escaped to freedom and depicts the faith that sustained her during the journey. The story is quite moving, as you can imagine, and I could barely see to read through the blur of tears.
Then I got online and found this interview with the author, Carole Boston Weatherford, which also blew me away. Good stuff. http://www.caroleweatherford.com/moses.htm
*There is a rule about such things in the world of Teacherdom: NEVER READ A BOOK ALOUD THAT YOU HAVE NOT FIRST READ YOURSELF. Yes, I broke that rule. And no, I don’t condone it. However, this book was given to me and highly recommended by my mother who is the best teacher I know, and I trust her judgment.