The month is almost over, but there's still time to fit in some Black History Month selections. And of course, the valuable lessons of the civil rights movement and the African-American experience are appropriate to teach year-round. Here are some suggestions from Recorded Books. If you have any suggestions of your own, please let us know!
• The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman – An AudioFile Earphones Award Winner – Miss Jane is 100 years old when she is interviewed by an area high school teacher looking to teach his students more about plantation society in the deep South. Now, in the racial upheavals of the ’60s, Miss Jane brings closure to one generation, and inspiration to the next.
• Freedom Riders – Nonfiction Recorded Books Exclusive – Told from the perspectives of two Freedom Riders, this Robert F. Silbert Honor Book is a stunning testament to the power of nonviolent resistance in the face of racial discrimination and segregation.
• Getting Away with Murder – Nonfiction – Emmett Till was a young boy from Chicago visiting his family in Mississippi when he allegedly made some “ugly remarks” to a white woman. Following this, the woman’s husband and a group of other men kidnapped and murdered Emmett. Acquitted of the crime, these men would go free only to later admit their guilt to a national audience in Look Magazine. Setting off a firestorm of revolt, this touchstone event helped spark the Civil Rights Movement that would grip the nation through the ’60s and ’70s.
• Lay That Trumpet in Our Hands – Reesa McMahon’s Yankee family already sticks out in 1951 central Florida. Then Marvin Cully, a young black citrus picker who works for Reesa’s father, is killed—clues link the crime to the local Opalakee Klan.
• Malcolm X: A Graphic Biography – Nonfiction – This audio companion for the graphic novel allows readers to follow along with the book’s evocative drawings by Randy DuBurke. A truly great read.
• We Are One: The Story of Bayard Rustin – Nonfiction – You may never have heard of him, but you’ve probably heard of the many people civil rights activist Bayard Rustin influenced. He was a mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and refused to move to the back of the bus many years before Rosa Parks did. The son of a freed slave, Bayard Rustin grew up during the peak of the Jim Crow laws, which segregated blacks and whites.
• Copper Sun – Coretta Scott King Award Winner – Fifteen-year-old Amari witnesses the murder of her family and the destruction of her remote African village. She endures countless humiliations as she is beaten, branded, and forced to board a slave ship. The atrocities continue as she struggles through endless days of backbreaking work and daily degradation on a plantation.
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