Tag Archives: #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Black History: Artists

Black History: Artists

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Heart and Soul

African American artist 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. He says in his autobiography Ashley Bryan Words to My Life’s Song,”

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.

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!

Listed below are books, websites & databases that will help you learn more about African American Art and African American Artists.


Websites, Activities, Printables & Databases:

Biography in Context is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home with your IndyPL Library Card. Login using your library card number and PIN. What’s My PIN? Biography in Context will show you biographies, magazines, videos and more about African American Artists.​


eBooks:

IndyPLLibraryCard100
Use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN to check out FREE Online eBooks. Click on a book jacket & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?Overdrive

A Splash of Red the Life and Art of Horace PippinEtched in ClayGordon ParksRadiant ChildIt Jes Happened When Bill Traylor Started to Draw

Print Books:

Art from the Heart Folk Artist Clementine HunterDraw What You SeeDrawing in the Sand a Story of African American ArtFaith RinggoldGoing Back Home an Artist Returns to the SouthRomare BeardenSewing Stories Harriet Powers Journey from Slave to ArtistWake Up Our Souls a Collection of African American ArtistsWords with Wings a Collection of African American Poetry and ArtJerry PinkneyCome Look with Me the Story of African American Art for ChildrenStarting Home the Story of Horace Pippin, PainterStitching Stars the Story Quilts of Harriet PowersStory Painter the Life of Jacob LawrenceDave the PotterHenry Ossawa Tanner

More Info Guides about Black History:


To learn even more about fascinating and inspiring black history makers, visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library. The Center is dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots.

WeNeedDiverseBooks LogoTo get young people engaged, one of the things they need is to see themselves in books. It is important for all of us to see ourselves in books, because that encourages us to read in a different way and encourages us to write more.” ~ Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott Founder of the African American Read-in #weneeddiversebooks

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Author Spotlight: Charles R. Smith Jr.

Author Spotlight: Charles R. Smith Jr.


Books:

28-daysblack-jackbrick-by-brickbrown-sugar-babiesdance-with-mehoop-kingshoop-queensi-am-americai-am-the-worldmy-peoplerimshotsstars-in-the-shadowsthe-mighty-12twelve-rounds-of-glory

Websites:


More about Black History:


To learn even more about fascinating and inspiring black history makers, visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library. The Center is dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots.

WeNeedDiverseBooks LogoTo get young people engaged, one of the things they need is to see themselves in books. It is important for all of us to see ourselves in books, because that encourages us to read in a different way and encourages us to write more.” ~ Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott Founder of the African American Read-in #weneeddiversebooks

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Author Spotlight: Tanita Davis

Author Spotlight: Tanita Davis

Too Shy for Show and Tell

 

Teens Octavia and Tali learn about strength, independence, and courage when they are forced to take a car trip with their grandmother, who tells about growing up Black in 1940s Alabama and serving in Europe during World War II as a member of the Women’s Army Corps.


Websites:


More about Black History:


To learn even more about fascinating and inspiring black history makers, visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library. The Center is dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots.

WeNeedDiverseBooks LogoTo get young people engaged, one of the things they need is to see themselves in books. It is important for all of us to see ourselves in books, because that encourages us to read in a different way and encourages us to write more.” ~ Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott Founder of the African American Read-in #weneeddiversebooks

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Black History: Musicians & Singers

Black History: Musicians & Singers

More Homework Help

Sweethearts of Rhythm

The Sweethearts of Rhythm is the story of 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. Sometimes the band had trouble performing because the band 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. She uses the rhythms of jazz music in her poetry. Read the poems, look at the great pictures and then don’t forget to read the author’s note in the back.

From the 1870s to the 1950s, Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis served as the focal point of Indianapolis’s black community. The black population in Indianapolis surged in the early 1900s as blacks migrated to the city from the South. Indiana Avenue businesses included restaurants, saloons, grocery stores, clothing stores, hair stylists, barber shops, a hotel, and more. Some of the most well known 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. (from The Indiana Historical Society 2011 Indiana Black History Challenge)

I wonder if the Sweethearts of Rhythm ever played there? Here is a movie poster of a different performer from the 1950s advertising a Rhythm and Blues show in Indianapolis. The poster is an Artifact at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Lula Reed Poster – Lula Reed began to demonstrate her singing ability in church in the late 1940s. With the help of well-known gospel singer Harold Boggs, Reed débuted with the Sonny Thompson Orchestra in 1951. Achieving two hits on the Billboard Rhythm and Blues Chart, she performed for audiences throughout the country. On one of these trips, she performed for African American audiences in Naptown, a nickname for Indianapolis, at the Rhythm and Blues Show in the late 1950s.

Listed below are more books, websites & databases that will help you learn about African American musicians and singers.


Websites:

Biography in Context is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home with your IndyPL Library Card. Login using your library card number and PIN. What’s My PIN? Biography in Context will show you biographies, magazines, videos and more about The Sweethearts of Rhythm and other African American Musicians.​


eBooks:

IndyPLLibraryCard100
Use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN to check out FREE Online eBooks. Click on a book jacket & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?Overdrive

A Horn for LouisDuke EllingtonI'm Going to SingJazzJust a Lucky So and SoLil WayneRay CharlesTrombone ShortyWalk Together Children

Print 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:

A Band of AngelsAin't Nothing But a ManAwesome African American Rock and Soul MusiciansBaby FloBessie Smith and the Night RidersDuke Ellington's Nutcracker SuiteElla FitzgeraldFree at LastHarlem's Little BlackbirdHow Sweet the SoundIn the Hollow of Your Hand Slave LullabiesIncredible African American Jazz MusiciansJazz A-B-ZJazz Age JosephineJazz Day the Making of a Famous PhotographJazz on a Saturday NightJosephine's DreamLike a Bird the Art of the American Slave SongLouis Armstrong King of JazzMister and Lady Day Billie Holiday and the Dog Who Loved HerNobody Gonna Turn Me RoundThe Voice That Changed a NationWhat Marian Sang

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)


More Info Guides about Black History:


To learn even more about fascinating and inspiring black history makers, visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library. The Center is dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots.

WeNeedDiverseBooks LogoTo get young people engaged, one of the things they need is to see themselves in books. It is important for all of us to see ourselves in books, because that encourages us to read in a different way and encourages us to write more.” ~ Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott Founder of the African American Read-in #weneeddiversebooks

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Black History: Authors & Illustrators

Black History: Authors & Illustrators
Words to My Life's Song AshleyBryan Elijah of Buxton Brown Girl Dreaming The Rock and the River Martin's Big Words
Alexander, Kwame  Website Interview Video Interview
Barnes, Derrick   Interview Video Interview
Bryan, Ashley Website Interview Video Interview
Collier, Bryan Website Interview Video Interview
Curtis, Christopher Paul Website   Video Interview
Davis, Tanita Website Interview Interview
Dillon, Leo & Diane Website Interview  
Draper, Sharon Website   Video Interview
Flake, Sharon Website Interview Video Interview
Giovanni, Nikki Website Interview Video Interview
Grimes, Nikki Website Interview Video Interview
Hamilton, Virginia Website Interview Video Interview
Johnson, Angela Website Interview Video Interview
Lewis, E.B. Website Interview Video Interview
Magoon, Kekla Website Interview Video Interview
McKissack, Frederick   Interview Video Interview
McKissack, Patricia   Interview Video Interview
Myers, Christopher Website Interview Video Interview
Myers, Walter Dean Article Interview Video Interview
Nelson, Kadir Website Interview Video Interview
Nelson, Vaunda   Interview Video Interview
Nolen, Jerdine Website Interview Video Interview
Pinkney, Andrea Website Interview Video Interview
Pinkney, Brian Website Interview Video Interview
Pinkney, Jerry Website Interview Video Interview
Reynolds, Jason Website Interview Video Interview
Rhodes, Jewell Parker   Interview Video Interview
Rhuday-Perkovich, Olugbemisola Website Interview Video Interview
Smith, Charles Website Interview Video Interview
Williams, Rita Garcia Website Interview Video Interview
Woodson, Jacqueline Website Interview Video Interview
The Lion and the Mouse Nelson Mandela Eliza's Freedom Road 8th Grade Super Zero Jazz

More Info Guides about Black History:


To learn even more about fascinating and inspiring black history makers, visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library. The Center is dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots.

WeNeedDiverseBooks LogoTo get young people engaged, one of the things they need is to see themselves in books. It is important for all of us to see ourselves in books, because that encourages us to read in a different way and encourages us to write more.” ~ Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott Founder of the African American Read-in #weneeddiversebooks

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