Tag Archives: Black History

Black History: Scientists and Inventors

Black History: Scientists and Inventors

The Frog ScientistFeatured Scientist: Dr. Tyrone Hayes I wish all science books were written like this one! This is the story of Dr. Tyrone Hayes who started out as a boy collecting frogs, turtles and snakes in the swamp near his home in Columbia, South Carolina. Fast forward 20 years and Tyrone is a Harvard graduate studying frogs. He’s a frog scientist, just like he always wanted to be.

As you read the book you learn about how Tyrone became a scientist, but you also learn about how he does his research. You see pictures of Tyrone out in the wild collecting samples and inside his lab studying frogs under a microscope. Tyrone’s research is about the affects of pesticides on frogs. Pesticides are chemicals that farmers spray on crops to kill pests like insects or weeds. In particular, he studies atrazine, a chemical used to kill weeds. Atrazine is used in Indiana on corn crops. Reading this book just might make you want to follow the debate about whether or not atrazine should be used. According to Tyrone’s research, the chemical causes all kinds of problems in frogs…they can grow extra legs… and the chemical can even make a boy frog turn into a girl frog.

This book has fabulous pictures of frogs, frog parts & frog insides. There are also great pictures of Tyrone and his students in his lab or out in the wild collecting specimens. The pictures are all crisp and clear and full of color. I really liked the pictures inside the lab. I also liked hearing about being a scientist right from Tyrone. The author used Tyrone’s real words throughout the book. It was cool to read about a little boy who grew up to do exactly what he dreamed of doing. It’s also cool to read about someone that is really passionate about what they do. Watch the video below – Tyrone raps about what atrazine does to frogs. Author: Pamela Turner

Websites:

Books:

Black Stars Color BlackInventors Brilliant
Inventors Inspiring Carver Latimer
Walker Williams Morgan CharlesDrew

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Black History: Athletes

Black History: Athletes

Marshall

Featured Athlete Marshall “Major” Taylor: This is the story of a young African-American boy who grew up in Indianapolis over a hundred years ago. Despite living at a time when African-Americans were often denied basic rights, Marshall Taylor became a world champion cyclist.
Marshall earned the nickname “Major” when he performed bicycle tricks as a very young boy dressed in a military style costume. When he was a teenager he stopped performing tricks and moved on to bicycle racing – and he was really, really good – world champion good! His story is inspiring because he persevered even when there were many people who didn’t want him to even be in a race, let alone win, just because he was African-American. Sometimes he rode fast just to get away from angry people chasing him! Author: Marlene Targ Brill

In Indianapolis, we have the Major Taylor Velodrome, a world-class bicycle racing track named for this cycling great. You can

ride your bike and also use inline skates at the Velodrome. If you want to try riding there, it’s best if you are at least 10 years old. Call ahead and see if you can arrange a time to go try it out. And don’t forget your helmet! 3649 Cold Spring Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46222 Velodrome Phone: 317-327-8356.

Websites – Marshall Taylor:

Featured Athlete Oscar RobinsonHave you ever heard of Indiana’s own Olympian Oscar Robertson? In 1955 Oscar went to Crispus Attucks High School. Oscar’s team won the Indiana State Championship, becoming the first all-black school in the nation to win a state title. Robertson led Crispus Attucks to another championship in 1956. Oscar was so good he played in College and went on to win a gold medal with the US Basketball team at the 1960 Olympic Games.

Websites – Oscar Robinson:

Websites – African-American Athletes:

Books – African-American Athletes:

Sports Athletes2 Ship Fair
Touch Jesse Hope Jump
Trouble Satchel Champ Queen
Henry Jackie Lebron

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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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Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America

Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America

Hand in Hand

Hand in Hand tells the stories of 10 African-American men from different periods in American history. Each story is written like the author really knew the person. She didn’t, of course, she wasn’t even alive for most of them. What she did, though, was write about each person’s whole life, not just their accomplishments. It helps you understand how and why they accomplished what they did. This makes them much more real and their stories interesting. Author: Andrea Pinkney Illustrator: Brian Pinkney 2013

Winner! 2013 Coretta Scott King Author Award

  1. Benjamin Banneker : Surveyor of the Sky
  2. Frederick Douglass : Capital Orator
  3. Booker T. Washington : Polished Pioneer
  4. W.E.B. DuBois : Erudite Educator
  5. A. Philip Randolph : Always Striding Ahead
  6. Thurgood Marshall : Mr. Civil Rights
  7. Jackie Robinson : Game-Changer
  8. Malcolm X : Spark-Light
  9. Martin Luther King, Jr. : Nonviolent Visionary
  10. Barack H. Obama, Jr. : Holding on to Hope
More about significant people and events from black history:
Discovering Black America What Color is My World? Powerful Words Traveling the Freedom Road
Miles to Go for Freedom Marching for Freedom
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Staff Pick: The Lions of Little Rock

Staff Pick: The Lions of Little Rock

The Lions of Little Rock

Krisitin Levine’s sensitive and engaging novel The Lions of Little Rock takes place during the struggle to integrate public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1958. The narrator is 12 year old Marlee , who seldom speaks to anyone except family members. Math whiz Marlee prefers numbers to words, “ In math, you always get the same answer, no matter how you do the problem. But with words, blue can be a thousand different shades!” That changes when she becomes friends with Liz, a new girl at school. Their friendship is disrupted when Liz suddenly disappears from school after it is discovered that she is black and not welcome at the still segregated school. The story that follows is not only about Marlee finding her voice in many ways, but also about the courage it took for individuals in the Little Rock community to find their voices, come together, and stand up for what is right. The author successfully combines themes of friendship, family, and profound issues in our society with a light enough touch that makes the book a pleasure to read, and encourages the reader to reflect on all the issues the story presents.

Recommended by: Amy Friedman, The Learning Curve@Central Library

More Staff Picks

More books about school integration in Little Rock:

The Little Rock Nine Stand Up for Their Rights Little Rock Girl 1957Little Rock Nine
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