Standing up for what’s right

20 Jan

It’s MLK Day. I’m not out there, participating in the Day of Service. As a teacher, everyday might be considered a day of service, except I get paid to be there. I went around to our Sunday School classes at church and talked to them about the Souper Bowl of Caring.

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We handed our grocery bags for them to bring back on February 2nd to support the Oregon Food Bank, and gave each class a canister so the kids can help less fortunate people overseas, too, by bringing in a dollar.

But let me also talk here about 2 books I love. The first isn’t a new book.

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When Marian Sang written by Pam Muñoz Ryan and illustrated by Brian Selznick tells the story of  Anderson’s  historic concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, which drew an integrated crowd of 75,000 people in pre-Civil Rights America. Famous around the world, Anderson was prevented from performing in Constitution Hall because she was black. Eleanor Roosevelt came up with an idea to have her perform free, for everyone at the Lincoln Memorial.

It just brings tears to my eyes.

A newer book is The Price of Freedom: How One Town Stood Up to Slavery written by Dennis Brindell Fradin, Judith Bloom Fradin and illustrated by Eric Velasquez.

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Here is the Goodreads summary:

“When John Price took a chance at freedom by crossing the frozen Ohio river from Kentucky into Ohio one January night in 1856, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was fully enforced in every state of the union. But the townspeople of Oberlin, Ohio, believed there that all people deserved to be free, so Price started a new life in town-until a crew of slave-catchers arrived and apprehended him. When the residents of Oberlin heard of his capture, many of them banded together to demand his release in a dramatic showdown that risked their own freedom.”

I suspect this book will be on one or more of the lists of winners that will be announced next week at the ALA meeting in Philadelphia.

Whether you get out today and participating in a day of service or not, I hope you have a wonderful MLK Day. And I hope you think of standing up for others everyday.

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