Book Reviews: I Have A Dream and Harlem’s Little Blackbird

i-have-a-dream1I Have A Dream – Paintings By Kadir Nelson

This is a beautiful book with the speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and gorgeous paintings by Kadir Nelson. It includes a cd with the original recording of Dr. King’s speech on August 28, 1963.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

harlems-little-blackbird1Harlem’s Little Blackbird – Renee Watson and Christian Robinson

This is the story of singer Florence Mills who’s wonderful voice made her a hit in the 1920’s on Broadway. Born to former slaves, she never forgot her roots. She faced racism during her career, for example when she went to London and people threatened to boycott the the show but she quickly won over the audience with her singing.

Ziegfeld was a famed broadway manager who offered Ms. Mills a leading role, which would have made her the first black woman to star in the Ziegfeld Follies but she turned down the role, opting to support shows that gave unknown black singers a chance to be heard.

I loved reading this to the little hummingbird and it really opened up a discussion about different races. Yes, she’s only 3 years-old and doesn’t really understand why there was such a separation between whites and people of color, but I loved talking with her about how the color of your skin doesn’t matter. It’s what’s on the inside that matters the most. It’s something I hope will stay with her throughout her life.

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