Saturday, September 5, 2020

Summer Reading 2020 The Teachers March

Many people have heard of the march from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights. But not many know about the teachers in Selma who marched before that. This book tells the story of the black teachers who risked their jobs and their freedom to stand up as community leaders and demand their right to vote.

The image of the teachers gathering in front of the school and holding "their toothbrushes gleaming like swords in the Selma sun" shows their determination and their understanding that their actions could have them spending time behind bars. "They'd stepped out for their right to vote, ready to be handcuffed - ready to lose their jobs for that right." The text mentions the literacy test that black citizens were required to pass in order to become registered voters. A test with questions like "How many drops of water in the Alabama River?" that even college-educated people could never answer correctly.

Readers will be cheering for the teachers as they stand up to the corrupt officials blocking them from their rights. Many may grin when they read that the first thing black voters did was to vote the sheriff out of office.  Back matter includes a selected bibliography of sources - interviews, books, film and audio, periodicals, in-person visits, picture credits. There are also an author's and an illustrator's note, a timeline, photos of some of the major individuals from the march, and a list of suggested sources to Learn More.

A great addition to collections on Civil Rights.


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