Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan was a Newbery Honor book this year and also a Coretta Scott King Honor. This is a short book, a book shorter than those I would count on goodreads, but this book was SO powerful that it needed to be counted, regardless of length. Beautiful. Important.
Especially after what I heard and saw last month. At one of the places where I work a father and daughter came in with a list of books from which the daughter had to pick. The father told me that "she doesn't like books about black people, Chinese people or Indians (sic, she meant Native Americans)." Unreal. This girl who looked like Hitler's poster child is growing up in a family (and going to a charter school, go figure) where differences are not accepted, let alone welcomed. I will pray for that family, but to be honest, I was sickened. Sickened. So I need to pray for me, too. So that my heart can be open to praying for this family. Because wow. What a sad, sad and hateful way to be.
I hate to have this story tainted this post about this incredible book. But we still have a LONG way to go in this country. The next time someone tells me we don't need Affirmative Action any more, or that racism doesn't exist. Well, I will do what I always do and say, "You're so terribly wrong. More wrong that you know."
What's Going On Here?
There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.