Monday, January 22, 2007
Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Freedman, Russell. 2006. FREEDOM WALKERS: THE STORY OF THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT. New York: Holiday House. ISBN 0823420310 [Suggested Grade Levels 3-8]
This engrossing historical account begins not with the 1955 arrest of Rosa Parks, but with the previous bus experiences of lesser-known women Jo Ann Robinson and Claudette Colvin. Using personal accounts of participants, Freedman sets the stage for what was to become the start of the modern civil rights movement using clear descriptive prose. By the time legendary figures such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. are introduced, the reader has a definite picture of the segregationist attitudes and injustices suffered by African Americans in the South.
For 381 days boycotters walked, hitched rides and found resourceful ways of getting to work while city leaders discovered reasons to arrest and try to discourage boycotters. Freedman aptly captures the mood surrounding Montgomery during this time and pays tribute to the thousands of unsung heroes that sacrificed daily until justice was served. The monumental effort that leaders took to ensure that the protest remained organized and peaceful is astounding. Freedman includes detailed information that is generally omitted in biographies of civil rights leaders. Black and white photographs generously accompany and support the text. Chapter notes, a bibliographic essay and index are appended.
This book can be used as an introduction to the civil rights movement. Invite children to gather biographies of civil rights activists and discuss their contributions. Create a timeline of milestones reached during the civil rights era.
Other books about heroic African American girls/women who broke the color line:
Bridges, Ruby. THROUGH MY EYES. ISBN 0590189239
Freeman, Russell. THE VOICE THAT CHALLENGED A NATION: MARIAN ANDERSON AND THE STRUGGLE FOR EQUAL RIGHTS. ISBN 0618159762
By S. Zulema Silva Bewley