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
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.
Featured Athlete Oscar Robinson: Have 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.
Biographies are books written about a person’s life. Autobiographies are a special kind of biography. Autobiographies are written by the person himself or herself. Nobody can tell the story better than the person who lived it!
The first Super Bowl was played 48 years ago, on January 15, 1967 in Los Angeles, California. It was between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. This year, the Super Bowl takes place in Glendale, Arizona on February 1, 2015. The game is between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.
The words in this book are the words from Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I have a dream” speech which he delivered on August 28, 1963 during the March on Washington. Marchers came from all over to gather in front of the Lincoln Memorial. A lot more people watched the march and heard this speech on television.
The paintings in the book were done by Kadir Nelson. The book was named a 2013 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Honor Book.
Explore the books & links below to watch the speech itself or find out more about why the March on Washington was so important.
Watch A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr. Read by LeVar Burton – Reading Rainbow Story Time. A biography of the Baptist minister and civil rights leader whose philosophy and practice of nonviolent civil disobedience helped American blacks win many battles for equal rights.
Books about The March on Washington & “I Have a Dream”