AFRICAN AMERICAN IMAGES
Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com)
Psychologist and author Dr. Gloria Morrow’s most recent release The Things That Make Men Cry is set for a November debut in Los Angeles, California. Published in 2008, the book focuses on extensive research conducted by Dr. Morrow into the emotions men experience and what ‘makes them cry’ internally and externally. Through Morrow’s research, effective strategies are presented to help men bandage these wounds and learn to effectively communicate.
Based on the strong response to these strategies, Dr. Morrow, who is known as Dr. Gloria, launched a campaign on fundraising platform, Indiegogo, to bring her teachings to the stage. Directed by Dino Shorté, the play will have its Los Angeles preview at the Barnsdall Gallery Theater on November 1, 2013. Produced by Dr. Morrow and Carl Gilliard, who together with Jeannine Austin Fisher cast Lou Beatty, Jr., Gregory Niebel, Derek Shaun, Tony Grant, Dorien Wilson, Salvador Yanez-Ruiz, Jimmy Walker, Jr., Philip Cates, and Rhonda Morman as the ensemble story-tellers. Music direction will be provided by Steven Wayne and Donn Wyatt.
“I couldn’t be more proud that my book will offer an entirely new perspective via the stage,” states Dr. Gloria. “These learnings have changed lives and given liberty not just to men, but to the women who love them. Speaking to a live audience in this format provides a safe environment for men’s voices to be heard.”
The Things That Make Men Cry will have its preview opening November 1 with an official red carpet premiere on November 2, and a matinee performance on November 3. For ticket availability and further information, please visit www.itsmyseat.com or call 909-985-3773. For information on contributing to this much anticipated stage play, please visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-things-that-make-men-cry-part-2. The Things That Make Men Cry is being hosted by All American Families United, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3).
About Dr. Gloria Morrow
Dr. Gloria Morrow is one of the nation’s leading clinical psychologists, who devoted her early career to teaching students in undergraduate and graduate psychology programs. As an academician, clinician and author, her teaching, counseling and books have helped thousands of people find true inner healing. Morrow has been cited in critically acclaimed national publications such as Psychology Today, Jet, Heart and Soul, Essence, and Woman’s Day, and appeared as an expert guest on numerous radio and television shows including CNN. Well known in the faith community due to her willingness to address mental illness in the church and the role of pastors and church leaders granting permission for parishioners to seek mental health services outside the church when appropriate. Dr. Morrow is a Master Trainer for the CBMCS (California Brief Multicultural Competency Scale) Training Program, and she helped develop the training curriculum. This program focuses on the four major ethnic groups: African American, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Hispanic/Latino/Mexican American, and American Indian/Native American.
In addition to Things That Make Men Cry, Dr. Morrow has authored several books entitled Too Broken to be Fixed? A Spiritual Guide to Inner Healing, Strengthening the Ties that Bind: A Guide to a Healthy Marriage, Keeping it Real! 7 Steps Toward a Healthier You, Create Your Blueprint for Good Success and its companion A Life Plan Portfolio. She has also developed a DVD entitled Suffer in Silence No More addressing the signs, symptoms, causes, and treatment of depression within the African American community. Dr. Morrow holds an earned PhD in Clinical Psychology from Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, CA; a Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA; and a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from the University of La Verne, La Verne, CA. For more information please visit www.gloriamorrow.com.
by Joy-Ann Reid
The following is an excerpt from “The Rejected Stone,” the new book by MSNBC host and National Action Network president Rev. Al Sharpton.
I don’t think we’ve had an honest discussion about misogyny in the black community. I don’t think we’ve talked about the latent feelings of hostility many black men have toward black women, a misguided sentiment that black women somehow have taken part in society’s emasculation of black men. Maybe at some point back in our history, black women were used to emasculate us, but if so, they were being used against their will. They can’t keep paying for that. And black male insecurity cannot continue to be the justification for asking black women to step back and let some insecure boys play out their manhood issues.
It all brings to mind the battles I had when I was eighteen and was made the youth director of Shirley Chisholm’s presidential campaign in 1972. It was the first year that I would be eligible to vote, and I was so excited about the whole campaign and my role in it. Chisholm had been the first African-American woman elected to Congress in 1968, representing the twelfth congressional district in Brooklyn. Chisholm was fierce, brilliant, and courageous. I was proud to be in charge of organizing young people in support of her presidential campaign. But that sentiment wasn’t shared among the black leadership. Chisholm said that during her legislative career, she faced much more discrimination because she was a woman than because she was black. I can definitely attest to that, because I saw it with my own eyes.
I attended the unprecedented gathering of black leaders and activists that happened that year in Gary, Indiana, and I was shocked that they would not endorse Chisholm. Jesse Jackson and the others were going with George McGovern. I think a lot of their problem with her was because they felt, Shirley’s into that feminism. But my response was, Well, wait a minute, Shirley’s a black candidate with our agenda, in addition to a feminist agenda. Why can’t we support her? Shirley lived in Brooklyn, and I knew her very well. I saw the hurt and pain she went through having to fight black men. Shirley was more gifted and courageous than most of her contemporaries, but because she was a woman, she was denied a loftier status.
As her youth director, I felt the tensions. For a lot of these leaders, it was the first time I openly went against them. It was eye-opening, and it was painful, because I had to make a personal choice. I looked up to them, and I couldn’t believe their view was that limited and that biased. There’s no other way to put it. I knew there was considerable sexism in the church community, after watching the battles Bishop
Washington had gone through for his progressive views, such as ordaining women as preachers in the church. But I thought the leaders with whom I was mingling at the convention were more learned than that, more advanced than that. I learned a great deal during those days in Gary, lessons that helped me understand my community over the decades.
Forty years later, we are still going through these gender trials. We have quite a few prominent elected officials who are women, but I would expect the proportion to be greater than it is. So I frequently make conscious decisions in my sphere of influence to ensure that I include as many women as possible in the mix when it is time to establish the leaders of my organization. Of course, it is talent that is my top priority. That was surely the case with Tamika. But I also want to make sure women aren’t being discriminated against.
After my two daughters were born, I was even more disturbed by the prevalence of sexism I still saw around me. I’ve spent most of my life breaking down racial barriers, but it would be the ultimate irony if my daughters were denied opportunity not because of their race but because of their gender. My daughters went to very good schools; I was able to work hard and enable them to have a good education.
But if they can’t pull up to the table with the men of their generation, having a better education and better training than I had, then I have not done all I was supposed to do by dealing with race and not fighting hard enough against gender bias. My own bloodlines will be carried by two women who will have to deal with sexism and racism for the rest of their lives. It is my fervent prayer that the world they grow up in will see the shortsightedness of sexism, will see how much more powerful and dynamic we become when we grant the seeds of opportunity to every one of us. I hope my daughters in their lifetimes see the day when they can pull up a chair to the table and the man sitting next to them won’t find it necessary to make a mental note of their gender. And I say to all the young men out there who might find themselves one day sitting at the table next to my daughters and all the sisters of their generation and the generations after them: Their presence strengthens you, makes you stronger and smarter and more capable. It doesn’t diminish you.
By HILLEL ITALIE
NEW YORK — The book world is finally honoring Maya Angelou.
The poet and author of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” will be this year’s recipient of the Literarian Award, an honorary National Book Award for contributions to the literary community, the National Book Foundation announced Thursday. It is the first major literary prize for the 85-year-old Angelou, who has been celebrated everywhere from the Grammy Awards to the White House. She has received three Grammys for best spoken word album, a National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.
Speaking by telephone with The Associated Press on Thursday, Angelou said she couldn’t wait to be in the same room as “some very big names in the literary world” and that the Literarian prize made her feel that she was “picking in high cotton.”
“Dr. Angelou’s body of work transcends the words on the page,” the book foundation’s executive director, Harold Augenbraum, said in a statement. “She has been on the front lines of history and the fight for social justice and decade after decade remains a symbol of the redemptive power of literature in the contemporary world.”
E.L. Doctorow, a familiar name among prize judges, will receive an honorary medal for “contributions to American letters.” Doctorow, 82, won the National Book Award in 1986 for “World’s Fair” and was a finalist three other times. A native of New York City, he is best known for the million-selling historical novel “Ragtime,” which has been adapted into a feature film and a Broadway musical.
“Doctorow is a master of historical fiction who has brought the events of the past to people all over the world in an extraordinary fashion. It is also a special opportunity to give tribute to a native New Yorker in his hometown,” Augenbraum said.
“Any serious award such as this of the National Book Foundation has to be gratifying,” Doctorow wrote in an email to The Associated Press, adding that he believed literary awards did not only benefit the writers. “There is a communal value – they affirm the continuity of our literary culture.”
Previous winners of the National Book Award medal being given to Doctorow include Philip Roth, Arthur Miller and Elmore Leonard. Dave Eggers, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and NPR’s Terry Gross are among those who have received the Literarian Award.
Angelou, besides being a dancer, actress, filmmaker, singer and activist, has made historic contributions to reading and writing. “Caged Bird” is among the most widely read and widely taught memoirs of the past half-century, memorably documenting her rise from the rural, segregated South to international fame. Her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning,” which she recited in 1993 at President Bill Clinton’s first inaugural, quickly sold hundreds of thousands of copies.
“What I have always wanted is to be of use,” Angelou said. “I will not be abused. I will not be misused – not willingly. But I will be of use. Anybody who is not of use is useless.”
But she has never won such top literary prizes as the Pulitzer or PEN/Faulkner and has never even been a nominee for a National Book Award, although she did serve with historians Robert Caro and Robert K. Massie as a judge in 1978 on the committee for best biography/autobiography. (The winner was W. Jackson Bate’s biography of the 18th-century English critic Samuel Johnson.)
Angelou said she never worried about literary honors and that she always felt grateful for the winners.
“I know that makes me sound like all goody two-shoes,” she said. “But only one name can be chosen for a prize. … And, here now, I’m getting an award from the National Book Foundation for lifetime achievement of service to the community! It’s a blessing. It’s incredible.”
A long list of nominees in the four competitive categories for the National Book Awards, which the Book Foundation presents, will be announced later this month. Angelou, whose primary residence is in North Carolina, has been in frail health and is expected to only make a brief appearance at the awards dinner and ceremony on Nov. 20.
by Larry Buford
*Detroit author Minister Mary Edwards’ story, ‘The Buck Stops Here,’ is included in the latest release of Chicken Soup for the Soul, From Lemons to Lemonade.
It’s an account of her breast cancer survival after all other members of her immediate family, and her beloved husband died from some form of the disease. Edwards is a frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, which include Chicken Soup for the African American Soul, and Chicken Soup Book of Miracles. She teaches others how to write for Chicken Soup for the Soul books and get paid.
Edwards who is also a book coach, editor, publisher, and motivation speaker, has authored several other books including her stellar autobiography ‘Born Grown’ which is available on her website www.leavesofgoldconsulting.com and Amazon.com. Her e-mail address is: [email protected]
Gary Younge’s latest book “The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.’s Dream.” (Photo courtesy of Gary Younge)
“I am happy to join with you today on what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation,” spoke Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he began what was to become one of the most beloved speeches of all-time.
Those words – and the moments that surround them — have been dissected and analyzed in Gary Younge‘s new book, The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream.
Younge’s latest work reflects on critical moments leading up to King’s powerful — and unexpectedly iconic – “I Have a Dream” speech on that warm day on August 28, 1963.
After spending over a year researching, Younge — a British journalist and columnist for The Guardian — retold the troubling story of a racially torn America and Dr. King’s plight to deliver justice and empower black America.
Younge provides new insight into the roles of key civil rights leaders in a captivating story that is eloquently written and punctuated with surprising detail.
More importantly, the book sheds new light on Dr. King and paints him in a way that portrays the true grit and determination that stuck with him like the many followers he inspired and led.
However, between the book’s perforated pages, Younge argues that Dr. King’s speech is widely misunderstood – and makes it his mission to accurately portray the occurrences which led to some of the most historic moments of the civil rights movement.
Younge talked to theGrio about his latest work, which is published on the heels of the 50 anniversary of Dr. King’s delivery.
theGrio: What inspired you to tell the story behind Dr. King’s speech?
Gary Younge: I have been intrigued by how people of different political persuasions in America make sense of that speech. How a speech that when it was delivered was not overwhelmingly popular in the country at the time and how that would become a national treasure.
As a black Briton — my parents are from Barbados, I was born in Britain — I was raised with that speech and it has always intrigued me to the degree which that delivery has become a global speech.
In a shorter, and more condensed version, tell us – what is the story behind Dr. King’s speech?
I would say it’s two things: One is the political story, which is this incredible year in American history – actually, an incredible six months where the grassroots of the civil rights movement decided that they’ve had enough and leaders are rushing to catch up with the grassroots and this is the basis under which the march takes place.
And then there’s the actual story behind it, which is quite moving; the dream sequence was not originally in the speech but while King is giving the speech, Mahaila Jackson, from behind him, who heard him do the “I Have a Dream” section in Detroit a few months earlier, shouts to him “Tell them about the dream, Martin. Tell them about the dream!” He continues and she shouts again. We don’t know whether he heard her, but we do know that at that point, he shifts the text to his left on the podium and in the words of Clarence Jones who was there, his body language changed from a martyr to a preacher and he starts to deliver the “I Have a Dream” refrain, which arguably made the speech famous.
King was the last speaker at the event and it has been reported that many who attended were not expecting a delivery quite like this. Aside from it being a great speech, what made this speech so iconic?
It’s the most eloquent articulation of America’s last great moral victory, which was getting rid of segregation. The speech comes at this very particular moment and it is rare. But also I think, that when King is assassinated, which is within the five years between him giving the speech and his assassination, the speech is not revered in the way that it is now. And I think that what happened after his assassination is that America needed to find a way to remember him.
There is something in the speech for everybody. It’s deeply rooted in the American dream, delivered in the shadow of Lincoln, entered the Negro spiritual and as such is a very patriotic speech. It’s delivered in the black vernacular, at this crowning moment of progressive coalition making.
What was one of the more shocking things you learned in writing this novel? Something that may shock readers as well…
Two things that surprised me were first of all, the degree to which African-Americans became impatient with their civil rights leadership that year. I hadn’t fully grasped that. And the other thing is the degree to which very few people who knew Dr. King regard this as their favorite speech. If you ask anyone who campaigned with him or knew him well, did you think that we wouldn’t be talking about this speech 50 years later? They all say no. They say he gave a lot of good speeches, but they didn’t think that that would be the speech for the ages.
Why do you believe Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech is misunderstood? Do people today interpret the speech in a different way than was originally intended?
Absolutely. I think particularly conservatives like to interpret through one line the notion that he was calling for people to be colorblind and not to take the legacy of racism into account. I think also its one of those; it’s the most loved but least well-known speeches. People don’t always know what’s in it — as well as being patriotic, it’s also an indictment of American racism. He’s calling for redress and I think people don’t fully grasp that. I think partly because it’s not well-known and partly because some people don’t want to understand it, but I think very few people understand it as it was intended actually.
Through your research, and in your opinion, what do you think Dr. King would make of the progress we have made 50 years later?
That’s always difficult in the shoes of man like Dr. King. Given what we know, in terms of his stated opinions, I think he would be, broadly speaking, unimpressed. If you look at the jails, unemployment and the discrepancies between black and whites, the discrepancies in wealth are greater than it was then, if he looks at the schools and so on I think that he would be unimpressed by the progress that’s been made. If he looks at the size of the black middle class and the presence of Obama in the White House and the number of black Americans who have voted, then he would be the first, I’m sure, to see that some progress has been made. So, I think he would recognize the advances that have been made but I think he would be looking for more progress than has been made.
Do you believe there is anyone today who holds the similar influence to the one King held? Would you put President Obama under a similar status?
No, mostly because there’s no movement to sustain him (Obama). I think it’s important to understand Dr. King’s role not just as an individual but as part of movement and that movement doesn’t exist anymore. Obama has the ability, through his oratory to reach black and white people in a way that few have before him. Arguably Clinton did. But Obama doesn’t come from a movement, he comes from a tradition and so it’s not the same thing. King was talking about bringing truth to power. Obama is power, he’s the president, and so they have very different roles.
What are some key lessons you hope readers take away from this book?
That they understand that history is always more complex than it is presented as – and that the civil rights movement was about more than just one man and the speech was about more than just one address.
Younge’s book, “The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream” is now available.
Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works
by Wil Haygood
When you think of mythological heroes, perhaps you think of the mighty Hercules, or Perseus, mounted on his winged horse Pegasus, swooping in to save Andromeda.
Whatever comes to mind, you might agree that what too often goes unrecognized are the humble, unassuming and unsung stories of those among us, whose daily lives, lived with patience, dedication, and ardor achieve their own mythical heroism.
In my mind Eugene Allen’s story is nothing less than a hero’s tale, forming its own distinctly American folklore in the imagination – an odyssey that took one man from the sprawling plantation homes of Virginia to the heart of America’s capital, Mount Olympus, from the horrors of the Jim Crow South to the inauguration of America’s first black president.
Who was ‘The Butler’?
Unerringly professional and deeply patriotic, Allen worked in the White House for 34 years from 1952 to 1986 with an unyielding sense of service to his country. That track record is unusual for most jobs, to say nothing, in Allen’s case, of the political and psychic upheaval he must have experienced every four to eight years, serving under eight different administrations. How did he deal with it? Well, like many people with a job to do and a family to take care of – with a sense of pride and duty.
To me, Allen, in the spirit of a long line of African-American heroes, represents both Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin: at once invisible and steadfast in asserting his human dignity and equal rights as an American. It’s very easy to bring our contemporary analysis of race politics to a story like Allen’s, but when people ask how Allen was able to quietly and consistently serve in the White House under eight presidents – some more sympathetic to the struggle of black Americans than others – I think of a whole generation of black men who, suave and dashing, discerned in any small look or gesture from a white person exactly what was being said or being left unsaid. In a class of their own, these men, with grace and dignity, successfully navigated a very complex political landscape, doing what had to be done for their communities and for their families and thriving in the face of adversity. That is something we can all be proud of.
This capacity is well illustrated by the years Allen worked under Lyndon B. Johnson. Allen continued his dedicated service even as his own son was consigned to the ravages of warfare in the jungles of Vietnam. It is a scene that for me conjures the dramatic irony of Shakespeare: Allen dutifully serving the most powerful hand in the world, while his son endured the physical and emotional violence of war – a fate sanctioned by that very same hand.
Uncovering Allen’s tale
What brought me to Allen? I’m not entirely sure that whatever was at work can be put into words, but I outline in the book The Butler one encounter, on the eve of Obama’s election, that stands out. There were several young white women weeping because their fathers refused to speak to them for voting for the then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. In their defiance, like an augur, I saw the outcome of the election. I knew then, intuitively, that Obama would indeed be America’s first black president, and that I had to find the person (because I knew he existed somewhere) who’d witnessed the tides of history, their turning, culminating in this momentous election. Someone who was working in the White House when it was inconceivable that someone like Barack Obama could be president.
While this premonition marked the beginning of my research, I actually suspect the journey to Allen’s doorstep began earlier, maybe stretching as far back as my childhood, watching episodes of the serial western The Big Valley and wondering how Napoleon Whiting’s character, Silas – the Barkley family’s dutiful butler – found himself in that great house. Even then, I always wondered – in the midst of the Barkley family’s many turns of fortune – what was hisstory? What mask did he have to put on every day? Did the people that he served admire him? Did they love him?
When I learned he’d in fact been a butler at the White House for eight administrations, only then did I grasp the full gravity of his story and this true American fable really began to take shape. In that fable, a humble and hardworking man pulls himself up by the bootstraps from the degradation of the Jim Crow South to the cool halls of the White House, asserting his rights as an American not by marching through streets but by striding those halls with quiet dignity.
There he worked tirelessly through tumultuous periods of history, throughout the ’60s. For instance, you had the murder of Medgar Evers, the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama, and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. During this dark period, many didn’t see the virtue of service and left the White House. However, Allen, like Odysseus, journeyed on, and despite these low moments, maintained hope that change was on the horizon.
I think of him, in the midst of all of this violence and upheaval, stomach gripped with fear and doubt, hearing President Johnson assure the nation that we shall overcome, standing there, just a few feet away as he said these words. It must have been a spiritual experience.
Allen found his dedication and perseverance rewarded when Ronald Reagan made him the first, and perhaps the only, White House service staff member to be formally invited to a state dinner as an official guest, slipping our hero through the silk curtain and into the receiving line with the international dignitaries and political leaders that he’d so dutifully served. It’s people like Allen, quietly endeavoring behind the scenes, that we must credit for literally forging our seat at the table. When I sat next to Allen for Obama’s inauguration, he leaned over and said to me in a poignant moment that, “early on when I’d first started in the White House, I didn’t dream you could dream like this.”
My Washington Post article, A Butler Well Served by This Election, brought Allen’s story to the world shortly after Obama was first inaugurated. But, it is Lee Daniels who’s led the effort to bring this American myth to the silver screen in the film The Butler (scheduled for release August 16, 2013), harnessing the colossal talent of Forest Whitaker, Jane Fonda, Oprah Winfrey and Vanessa Redgrave, just to name a few of the luminaries who make up this star-studded cast.
When I was on set in New Orleans, I would look around and see all of these amazing actors and actresses. I said to myself that this experience, just as unique and meaningful as the story we were trying to tell, needed be captured for people. Even with my level of experience, there were many publishers who said no to the idea for a book. Just when I thought it wasn’t going to happen I got a call from Sean Davis at Simon and Schuster who said they were interested, and in the spirit of so many coincidences that led me to Allen’s story, I told Sean that I had been waiting for that call.
In the book [that was released] on July 30 2013, accompanying my in-depth discussion of Allen and his life are beautiful photos of Allen, his family and moments captured on the movie set. You really get a sense of what a special man Allen was and what an amazing experience being a part of the film was.
When I think of him now, and all of the people his story will reach with the film and the book, I can’t help but wonder, like any enduring fable, what lessons we can take from a story like Allen’s. What I’m left with is simply a name, printed there in The New York Times, when The New York Times still printed the list of dignitaries invited to the state dinner. Amongst those names of diplomats, celebrities, politicians, and other very powerful people, is Eugene Allen. His is a story to me that stands as a testament to the power of consistency, and I have never been more proud of knowing another human being.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — During the height of the civil rights movement, a gentle book about a black boy in a red snowsuit crunch-crunch-crunching through the snow broke down racial barriers and now is the subject of an upcoming exhibit.
Ezra Jack Keats’ beloved 1962 book, “The Snowy Day,” is credited as the first mass-market children’s storybook to feature a black protagonist — a preschooler named Peter joyfully exploring the snow-covered sidewalks in his New York City neighborhood.
The National Museum of American Jewish History is presenting a retrospective, “The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats,” from July 19 to Oct. 20. The exhibit includes more than 70 original works, ranging from preliminary sketches to final paintings and collages.
“We wanted to marry the strength of the show as an art exhibition with the significance of the book in children’s literature,” museum curator Josh Perelman said. “We really wanted the exhibit spaces to feel alive … to feel like being in a children’s book.”
The son of Jewish immigrants from Poland, Keats was born Jacob Ezra Katz in New York City’s Brooklyn borough in 1916 and grew up in poverty. Artistically gifted but unable to attend art school, he started out working as a sign painter, comic book background illustrator and Works Progress Administration muralist before creating children’s books.
“Keats drew a considerable amount on the fact that he experienced prejudice in his own life and he had a sensitivity to what it felt like to be marginalized,” Perelman said. “He also had a worldview that embraced extending that sensitivity toward other people who may feel marginalized as well.”
Peter’s world was also a reflection of Keats’ own environment, Perelman said, “the city streets where he felt comfortable, where he called home and that happened to be inhabited by working-class and poor folks and by African-American folks.”
“That’s who he felt should be in his books. This isn’t ‘Eloise,’” he said, referring to the children’s book character who lives in Manhattan’s posh Plaza Hotel with her nanny. “It’s a very different New York City.”
Awarded the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1963, “The Snowy Day” has been published in at least 10 languages. It is on the Library of Congress’ list of “Books That Shaped America” and is rated by teacher and librarian groups as one of the all-time top children’s books.
“If you look at children’s literature previous to ‘The Snowy Day,’ there are very few positive examples of publications for African-American children,” Perelman said, “and there’s a whole lot of very derogatory, stereotypical and outright racist material.”
Keats, who died in 1983, illustrated more than 85 books. In six more books after “The Snowy Day,” readers followed Peter growing up from a kindergarten-age boy to an adolescent. His race was never mentioned.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.