Category Archives: Info Guide

Black History: Musicians & Singers

Black History: Musicians & Singers

Sweethearts of Rhythm

Featured Musicians: The Sweethearts of Rhythm The Sweethearts of Rhythm were a real all girl band that traveled around the country in the 1930s and 1940s. The band was unusual because it was all girls and because it was integrated.

One reason the girls got this chance is World War II. A lot of men were fighting in the war so it was easier for a girl band to get gigs. Once they did, they became popular because they were so good.

Sometimes the band had trouble because it was integrated. When the band played in the South they had to sleep on their tour bus because it was illegal there for black and white people to be in the same restaurant or hotel. Sometimes the girls had to wear disguises to hide the fact that their skin color was not all the same.

The author tells the story of the Sweethearts in poems and she uses the rhythms of jazz music in her poetry. It’s not like reading a book of facts. Read the poems, look at the great pictures and then don’t forget to read the author’s note in the back.

Websites:

Books:

Here are some more books that highlight African American music, composers, singers & musicians from slave work songs to spirituals to songs of the civil rights movement::
ABZ JazzMusicians Rock Band
Nothing Last Sweet Hollow
Voice Nobody Saturday Flo
Blackbird Josephine Dream Billie
Marion Louis Duke Bessie

FocusOnIndianaSmall

African American Music in Indiana

From the 1870s to the 1950s, Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis served as the focal point of Indianapolis’s black community. Originally called Indiana Street, the Avenue begins at the intersection of Illinois and Ohio Streets and extends northwest. While the Avenue was originally settled by German and Irish immigrants, by 1870 one-third of Indianapolis’s black population lived near Indiana Avenue. The black population in Indianapolis surged in the early 1900s as blacks migrated to the city from the South.

The Indiana Avenue businesses included restaurants, saloons, grocery stores, clothing stores, hair stylists, barber shops, a hotel, and more. Some of the most famous businesses on the Avenue were the Indianapolis Recorder (a black newspaper) and the Walker Building (which housed a casino and theatre, offices, a beauty college, drugstore, and restaurant.) In the 1930s, the Avenue’s businesses were focused on food and entertainment. By 1940 there were more than twenty-five jazz clubs on the Avenue where both national talent and local legends played. I wonder if the Sweethearts of Rhythm ever played there?

(from The Indiana Historical Society 2011 Indiana Black History Challenge

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Black History: Painters & Artists

Black History: Painters & Artists

Heart and Soul

Featured Artist: Ashley Bryan: Ashley Bryan grew up in the Bronx in New York City. When he was a little boy his parents noticed right away that he loved to draw and paint and make things. They did everything they could to make sure he had art supplies to create things with. After he graduated from high school he wanted to go to college and study art. He interviewed for a spot at an art institute.

The interviewer stated that mine was the best portfolio that he had seen. However, he also informed me that it would be a waste to give a scholarship to a colored person.

The best artist…but no scholarship because of the color of his skin. Fortunately for all of us, Ashley listened to good advice from his parents. They told him to not let anyone or anything ever stop him from doing what he loves. Ashley persevered. He attended the Cooper Union School of Art and Engineering and Columbia University. He studied art in France and Germany too.

Ashley has taught art, written and illustrated books and created countless beautiful things that you can see in this book: stained glass windows, paintings, sculptures, puppets and more. There is one picture in this book that shows Ashley at home in a room full of his creations. It’s like looking at an I Spy picture of wonderful things. I would love to wonder through his studio, pull up a stool and begin creating something. When you read this book written in his own words, you’ll realize that if you did walk into his studio, that is exactly what he would want you to do. Author: Ashley Bryan

 

Websites:

Books by Ashley Bryan:

LetShine AfricanTales Poetry Thunder
>Ashley Stable Scare

Books about African American Art & Artists:

ArtHeart Black Stars Renaissance Wake
RenaissanceWomen Wings Pippin Bearden
Dave Tanner Happened StoryPainter

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Elections

Elections

Websites

Indiana Websites

 

Voting Machine

Thousands of Marion County, Indiana residents voted at this machine between the 1930s and the 1980 election.

Voting Machine 2

During this time, many African Americans struggled to gain the civil rights Caucasian men and women enjoyed. Even though the 15th Amendment granted all American citizens the right to vote regardless of “race, color or previous condition of servitude,” African Americans still struggled for the right to vote particularly in the southern United States. In Indiana, African Americans continued to work for equal rights welcoming two significant federal laws, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voter Rights Act of 1965, helped to ensure African Americans the right to vote. Artifacts at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis 

See More Elections Artifacts from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ Collection

Books about Elections

Election Day Getting Elected Presidential Races Voting
The 15th Amendment Womens Right to Vote

Stories about Elections

Big Nate Mr. Popularity Caste Your Ballot The Ellie McDoodle Diaries Ellie for President I Am a Genius of Unspeakable
The Kid Who Ran for President The Misfits

 

 

 

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Native Americans

Native Americans

Read Right Now! Native Americans:

Books you can read online, right now, with no waiting!

Pocahontas WeGiveBooksSmall
Read Pocahontas – In this book, children learn the story of Pocahontas. Famous for helping maintain peace between the English colonists and Native Americans, this brave Indian woman befriended the settlers at Jamestown.

Websites:


Non-Fiction Books:

Before Columbus Black Indians Buckskin Dresses Children of the Tipi
A Day in the Life of a Native American Exploring the Life Myth and Art of Native Americans First People Hands On History Native Americans
Kids Guide to Native American History Looks Like Daylight Native American Art Native American Culture
Native American Heroes Native American History for Kids A Native American Thought Of It Native American Mythology
Native American Tribes Native Americans Native Americans a Visual Exploration Tecumsah
The World of North American Indians

Fiction Books:

The Birchbark House Buffalo Bird Girl Crossing Bok Chitto Ghost Hawk
The Legend of Lighning and Thunder The Man Who Dressed As Elk Dogs Paiute Princess The Porcupine Year
Return to Hawk's Hill The Story of Jumping Mouse The Woman Who Lived With the Wolves

Indiana Books & Websites:

The Illini, the Shawnee and the Miami were some of the Native Americans that lived in Indiana before settlers came here. One of the most well-known Native Americans from Indiana is the Miami Chief, Little Turtle. The websites and books below will help you learn more about Native Americans all over country, especially those who lived in Indiana.

The Miamis Salt
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Pioneers

Pioneers

Read Right Now! Pioneers:

Books you can read online, right now, with no waiting!

Journey of a Pioneer WeGiveBooksSmall Read Journey of a Pioneer – Journey of a Pioneer follows the adventures of a young girl as her family travels west in covered wagons along the famous Oregon Trail.

Wagon Train Adventure WeGiveBooksSmall Read Wagon Train Adventure – Wagon Train Adventure tells the story of Sarah and her pioneer family’s struggles and bravery on their journey across the American West in 1849. (DK Graphic Readers Level 4).

Websites:


Pioneer Non-Fiction:

Bad News for Outlaws Dressing a Nation Daniel Boone Donner Dinner Party
The Donner Party Explorers Trappers and Pioneers Great Pioneer Projects Hornbooks and Inkwells
How to Get Rich on the Oregon Trail Life as a Pioneer Life on a Wagon Train Painting the Wild Frontier
Poptropica Wild West Seed By Seed Skillet Bread, Sourdough Etc. Texas Rangers
Who Were the American Pioneers Wild Women of the Wild West Women of the Frontier You Wouldn't Want to Be an American Pioneer
You Wouldn't Want to Live in a Wild West Town The Westward Movement

Pioneer Fiction:

The Ballad of Lucy Whipple Caddie Woodlawn Hattie Big Sky The Last of the Mohicans
Little House on the Prairie May B The Quilt Walk Sarah Plain and Tall
The Trouble with May Amelia Woods Runner
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Indiana Books & Websites:

Alone The Bears of Blue river The Conners of conner Prairie The Floating House
Log Cabin in the Woods My Brother Abe Ollie's Cabin in the Woods A Place Called Freedom
Salt a Story of Friendship The School at Crooked Creek Where the River Grins
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