BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2019
It is February, the shortest month of the year.
You know what that means, dear readers. It is Black History Month. Want to know what this seventy-six-year-old White woman thinks about Black History 2019? For starters, I’ll share two earlier blogs: first from 2013, and next is four years later in 2017.
Today, February 1st, 2019, begins the first week of Black History Month. Next week at Sundance Books & Music in Reno, on Thursday, Feb. 7th at 6:30 pm., John L. Smith will read from his latest book, The Westside SLUGGER, Joe Neal’s Lifelong Fight for Social Justice, the story of Nevada’s first African American State Senator. Since I am now a resident of Nevada, I decided to buy and read Smith’s book before his reading. University of Nevada Press no doubt felt the book would do well in February. Hit the ground running and all that. So, I stopped by Sundance and picked up a copy. Before going home, I drove out to the Friends of Washoe County Library’s bi-monthly book sale. I’m seriously cutting back on book buying, but since I had already broken that silly vow once today, I grabbed a bookbag from the trunk of my car and went to see what I might find.
I got lucky! Well, truth be told, I always get lucky. Today I came home with an ex-library children’s history book; We Are One, The Story of Bayard Rustin. I knew of Rustin and his Civil Rights activism from reading all three volumes of Taylor Branch’s biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. I did get lucky because We Are One’s author Larry Dane Brimmer, has written one of those captivating biographies for younger readers which makes use of family photos, news photos, and cultural ephemera, and well-written introductions to African American History as experienced in White America – all of it set in a picture book layout. The photos and pictures are in black and white, but lots of the important shorter pieces of text appear to have been torn from colored pieces of paper. It is a stunner.
It is a first edition, as are most library books, published in 2007 and entered into the Washoe County Library System in 2008. It was removed from the Washoe County Library System in 2018. According to the book’s check out sheet, not one teacher, parent or child checked this book out of the Washoe County Library in those ten years.
HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2019 — from Reno, Nevada – Sunny Solomon