Fredericksburg Parent

February 2015

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28 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • February 2015 I n celebration of African-American history month, we highlight three biographies that examine important figures and unsung heroes of our nation. In ROSA, Nikki Giovanni puts the Montgomery Bus Boycott into an accessible story, perfect for those beginning to learn about the Civil Rights Movement. Giovanni introduces Rosa Parks as a woman simply trying to get home so she can prepare dinner amidst the stressful Christmas shopping season. Her defiance in the face of segregation shows how seemingly ordinary people can make a huge difference. As the book progresses, Mrs. Parks and the boycott's participants radiate a coura- geous energy in Bryan Collier's beautiful pictures, which mix painting and collage. BAD NEWS FOR OUTLAWS by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson covers the remarkable life of Bass Reeves. Born into slavery, Bass escaped his situation during the Civil War. After the conflict he became a U.S. Marshal. His tall, broad frame, skill with a rifle, and his ability to go undercover aided him as he captured criminals out west for over three decades. Gorgeous illustrations and a spirit of adventure make for an exciting history lesson. Library Tidbits BY CRAIG GRAZIANO African-American History Month WHEN THE BEAT WAS BORN by Laban Carrick Hill covers the earliest days of hip-hop by fo- cusing on a boy named Clive, who grew up to be DJ Kool Herc. Young Clive was fascinated with records and stereo sound systems. He no- ticed that there were certain parts of songs that made people dance more. Using two turntables, Clive found a way to begin play- ing a fresh section as soon as the other ended, forever changing music in the pro- cess. The biography also covers the baby steps of rapping and breakdancing as well. As always, you can request these and find more at

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