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Read Thru History: Black History Timeline 1954-1968

Read Thru History: Black History Timeline 1954-1968

More Black History
Read Through History: Civil Rights Timeline to 1954
Read Through History: Civil Right Timeline Since 1968

To the Mountaintop was written by Charlayne Hunter-Gault. Charlayne was one of the first black students admitted to the University of Georgia in 1961. In this book, Charlayne tells her own story as well as the stories of other people, children and young adults like her, who played very important roles in the Civil Rights Movement. It is an interesting book because she was so young. We can listen to her own story in her own words. Eyewitness accounts help us experience an event firsthand. We can take a moment to walk in someone else’s shoes. By reading the accounts of people who who were alive at the time, we can empathize with their suffering and understand why the Civil Rights Movement was so important to ensure their safety and freedom.

In To the Mountaintop, one of the people Charlayne talks about is Ruby Bridges, the first black child to desegregate an all-white elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana. Ruby was in elementary school, Charlayne was in college, both were brave enough to do something first. Ruby, in particular, became an icon of the Civil Rights Movement. An icon is a person or Problem We All Live With painting by Norman Rockwellthing that represents something bigger. Ruby was a little girl, but became a symbol of the struggle for Civil Rights for all black people in our country. One of the things that helped make Ruby an icon is this painting by American painter Norman Rockwell. The painting shows Ruby being escorted to school by four US Marshals. Four. It took four law enforcement officers to protect her. That is really hard to understand; that a child would need escorted to school like that. The painting is called “The Problem We All Live With“. In 2011 President Barack Obama arranged to borrow the painting from the Norman Rockwell museum. He had it hung outside the Oval Office and invited Ruby to come see it. Watch this video carefully to hear President Obama say something important:

“I think it’s fair to say that if it hadn’t been for you guys, I might not be here and we wouldn’t be looking at this together.”

He said something very similar during his campaign for President in 2007.

“I’m here because somebody marched. I’m here because you all sacrificed for me. I stand on the shoulders of giants.” ~Speech, Selma Voting Rights March Commemoration in Selma, Alabama, March 4, 2007

Listed below is a timeline of important events of the Civil Rights Movement. These events culminated with the passing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965. For each event a few books are listed, both fiction and non-fiction, that bring the events and people to life. Take a book walk through history to learn about these fascinating, determined, brave people who stood together so no one stood alone.


1954: Brown Vs. Board of Education was a landmark United States Supreme Court case. The Court declared state laws allowing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional. It was a major victory and important turning point for the Civil Rights Movement. The decision by the Court was unanimous (9–0). Unanimous means all of the supreme court justices agreed.


Brown v. Board of Education a Fight for Simple JusticeRemember the Journey to School Integration

1955: The Lynching of Emmett Till

Emmett Till was a 14-year-old African-American boy who was murdered in Mississippi in 1955 after allegedly offending a white woman in a grocery store. His killers were acquitted. The trial and acquittal drew attention to the long history of violent persecution of African-Americans in the United States. Emmett’s death became a rallying cry that helped people all over the country realize the critical importance of the Civil Rights Movement.


Midnight Without a Moon

1955-1956: Montgomery Bus Boycott

The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a protest against racially segregated seats on the public buses in Montgomery, Alabama. It sounds very strange today, but back then it was actually illegal for a black person and a white person to sit next to each other on a bus. The bus riding rules up to this point stated that African Americans could not be hired as bus drivers, had to ride in seats at the back of the bus, and had to give up their seat to a white person.The boycott began when Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person.


Rosa Parks: My StoryRosaThe Story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott in PhotographsClaudette Colvin Twice Toward Justice12 Incredible Facts about the Montgomery Bus BoycottBack of the Bus

1957: Little Rock Central High School Integration

The Little Rock Nine was a group of African American students who were enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court had already unanimously said in Brown v. Board of Education that all laws establishing segregated schools were unconstitutional, the students were initially prevented from entering the school. President Eisenhower then sent the 101st Airborne and the Arkansas National Guard to escort the students to school.


The Lions of Little RockThe Little Rock nine: a primary source exploration of the battle for school integrationThe story of the Little Rock Nine and school desegregation in photographsLittle Rock girl 1957 : how a photograph changed the fight for integration

1960: Greensboro, North Carolina Sit Ins

The Greensboro Sit-ins were a series of nonviolent protests against the segregated seating at lunch counters in restaurants. In Greensboro, North Carolina, four men sat down at the all-white lunch counter but no one would take their order. They sat quietly until the counter closed. The next day, joined by more people, they did the same thing. More people joined each day at more restaurants and in more cities. Sales at the boycotted stores went way down and gradually, the stores abandoned their segregation rules. Similar protests helped change segregation policies at libraries, beaches, parks, swimming pools and museums. When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 finally passed, it ordered desegregation of all public places.


Sit-in : how four friends stood up by sitting downFreedom on the MenuMake a ChangeThese HandsSeeds of Freedom

1960: Ruby Bridges New Orleans, Louisiana

Ruby Bridges was the first black child to desegregate an all-white elementary school in Louisiana in 1960. Bridges and her mother were escorted to school by four federal marshals for the entire school year.


The Story of Ruby BridgesThrough My Eyes

1961: Freedom Riders

Freedom Riders were people who rode on buses to protest segregated seating. The United States Supreme Court had already ruled that segregated public buses were unconstitutional, but the law was not enforced. In protest, mixed racial groups rode the buses together to challenge the rules. The riders drew attention to the states that were not following federal law.


Night on FirePreaching to the ChickensThe story of the civil rights freedom rides in photographsShe Stood for Freedom

1963: Birmingham Children’s March

Birmingham Children’s March was a march by hundreds of school children in Birmingham, Alabama, May 2–5, 1963. The children left school and walked downtown to talk to the mayor about segregation. Many children were arrested. Fire hoses and police dogs were used to stop the march. This event compelled President Kennedy to publicly support federal civil rights legislation and led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.


The Youngest MarcherWe've Got a JobBirmingham 1963When the Children Marched

1963: March on Washington

The March on Washington took place in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963. The purpose of the march was to stand up for civil rights for African Americans. At the march, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. The march helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


Voices from the March on WashingtonAs Good As AnybodyWe MarchI Have a DreamMarch On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the WorldMartin's Dream DayThe March on Washington Primary Source ExplorationThe Story of the Civil Rights March on Washington in PhotographsMarching for Freedom

1963: 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing

The 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing occurred at the African-American 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama on Sunday, September 15, 1963. Four members of the Ku Klux Klan planted a bomb beneath the steps at the church, killing four little girls and injuring 22 others.


A Thousand Never EversThe Watsons Go to BirminghamBirmingham Sunday

1964: Civil Rights Act

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.


Glory BeThe Civil Rights Act of 1964 a Primary Source ExplorationFreedom SummerFreedom Summer

1965: Voting Marches & the Voting Rights Act of 1965

The Selma to Montgomery Voting Marches were three protest marches along the 54-mile highway from Selma, Alabama to the state capital, Montgomery, Alabama. The marches were organized to support African-American citizens who wanted to exercise their constitutional right to vote. The marches contributed to the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, federal legislation that prohibits racial discrimination in voting.


The Story of the Selma Voting Rights Marches in PhotographsChild of the Civil Rights MovementBlood BrotherTurning 15 on the Road to FreedomRevolutionLillian's Right to VoteGranddaddy's TurnBecause They Marched

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: Scientists and Inventors

Black History: Scientists and Inventors

More Black History

All About Madam C.J. Walker

Madam C. J. Walker is recognized as America’s first female self-made millionaire. Walker made her fortune inventing and selling beauty and hair products for black women through her company, Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company.

Here are two contributions from African American inventors. Both are Artifacts at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Madam C.J. Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower Sarah Breedlove Walker, better known as Madam C.J. Walker, was a central figure in the development of the African-American market for commercial beauty products. She developed a formula for hair growth and a steel straightening comb and ointment. Starting with door-to-door sales of these products, she built a business empire. Not only did the business bring her personal success, but it also opened up new job opportunities for African-American women as sales agents and Beauty Culturists.

Traffic Signal – Garrett Morgan worked to bring order to busy streets. In 1922 he observed an accident. After seeing the confusion, Morgan improved the stationary Stop and Go lights by adding a warning pause so that drivers knew the light was about to change. An African American, Morgan had difficulty promoting his ideas.


Websites, Activities & Printables:

Biography in Context is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Login using your library card number. Biography in Context will show you biographies, magazines, videos and more about African American scientists and inventors.


Books:

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books at any of our locations, or check out e-books and e-audiobooks from home right to your device. Click on a book jacket below to request a book or download it. Need help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations, text a librarian at 317 333-6877, or leave a comment.

National Georgraphic Kids George Washington CarverWhat Color Is My World?Mae JemisonAfrican American InventorsBrilliant African American Scientists 9 Exceptional LivesBlack InventorsBlack Stars African American InventorsCharles DrewDaniel Hale WilliamsGarrett MorganGeorge Washington CarverInspiring African American Inventors 9 Inspiring LivesLewis LatimerMadam C.J. Walker Inventor and MillionaireTicktock Banneker's ClockUrban Biologist Danielle Lee

To learn even more about fascinating and inspiring black scientists and inventors, 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.

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Unique Stories about U.S. Presidents

Unique Stories about U.S. Presidents

More Homework Help – History & Social Studies

The Camping Trip That Changed America

The Camping Trip That Changed America is the story of a very important adventure in the great outdoors. In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt asked naturalist John Muir to take him camping. Roosevelt was so ready to get lost in the woods he ordered all of his aids away. The two men hiked and camped alone in the redwoods of Yosemite. Muir talked about the geology and the animals and the things he felt endangered them. President Roosevelt watched and listened. When he returned to Washington, President Roosevelt got to work.

In 1905 President Theodore Roosevelt established the U.S. Forest Service. Their spokesperson is someone you might know – Smokey the Bear! The books listed below will feature more unique and interesting stories about our presidents, their families and their time in office.


Whie House WinnersWhite House Winners – Provides facts and trivia about the United States presidents, including George Washington’s false teeth, James Madison’s love of ice cream, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s stamp collection, and Lyndon B. Johnson’s amphibious car.


Weird But True US PresidentsWeird But True US Presidents – What’s so weird about U.S. presidents? Plenty! Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was a great wrestler? That Ulysses S. Grant got a speeding ticket riding his horse–twice! Or that Benjamin Harrison was afraid of electricity? And let’s not forget that President McKinley had a pet parrot that whistled ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ duets with him! In this new single-subject Weird But True book, you’ll have a blast learning that there’s a lot of substance–and weirdness–in every president’s past.


Hanging Off Jefferson's NoseHanging off Jefferson’s Nose: Growing up on Mount Rushmore – Lincoln Borglum was a young boy when his father, the great sculptor Gutzon Borglum, suggested to a group of South Dakota businessmen that he should carve the faces of four presidents into a side of a mountain as an attraction for tourists. But Mount Rushmore would never be finished by Gutzon. It would be his son who would complete the fourteen-year task and present America with one of its most iconic symbols.


What To Do About AliceWhat to do About Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove her Father Teddy Crazy! – A brief biography in pictures and simple text of Alice Roosevelt, the daughter of Theodore Roosevelt and his first wife.


Hot Dog! Eleanor Roosevelt Throws a PicnicHot Dog!: Eleanor Roosevelt Throws a Picnic – In June of 1939, British monarchs King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visit America, the first visit ever by reigning British royalty. As part of the festivities, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt hosts an all-American picnic that includes hot dogs, a menu item that shocked some people!


What's the Big Deal About First LadiesWhat’s the Big Deal about First Ladies? – Discusses what made each first lady unique and describes their role, ambitions, and partnerships with their presidential husbands.


Did President Grant Really Get a Ticket for Speeding a Horse Drawn CarriageDid President Grant Really Get a Ticket for Speeding in a Horse-drawn Carriage? – Discusses facts and myths about American presidents, including if Washington cut down a cherry tree, if Lincoln walked twenty miles to school, and if Taft weighed more than an elephant.


White House KidsWhite House Kids: the Perks, Pleasures, Problems, and Pratfalls of the Presidents’ Children – Shares the experiences of growing up in the White House, discusses the good and the bad, and profiles the children that have lived there.


The First PupThe First Pup: the Real Story of How Bo Got to the White House – Once upon a time, a man named Barack Obama ran for president of the United States. On the night of his victory, he made a very important announcement…his daughters would get a puppy!


Mis Lady Bird's WildflowersMiss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America – A biography of Lady Bird Johnson who, as the wife of President Lyndon Johnson, reminded citizens about the importance of conserving natural resources and promoted the beautification of cities and highways by planting wildflowers.


First KidsFirst Kids: the True Stories of all the Presidents’ Children – First Kids are, and were, kids like any other, they just lived with parents who happened to be busy running the free world. This book will highlight all of the 43 president’s children leading into their adulthood.


Presidential MisadventuresPresidential Misadventures: Poems that Poke Fun at the Man in Charge – A rollicking collection of presidential poems shares lively facts about the misbehaviors of America’s commanders-in-chief.


Kid PresidentsKid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood from America’s Presidents – Presents twenty stories featuring the United States presidents when they were children, including William Taft’s dance lessons, Lyndon Johnson’s classroom pranks, and Gerald Ford’s struggles with dyslexia.


First MothersFirst Mothers – Profiles of the American presidents’ mothers reveal their achievements while sharing anecdotes and childhood stories, from Thomas Jefferson’s mother’s solo management of a plantation to Abraham Lincoln’s mother’s stint as a wrestler.


The President's Stuck in the BathtubThe President’s Stuck in the Bathtub : Poems about the Presidents – A playful, poetic celebration of lesser-known presidential events and eccentricities reveals such examples as John Quincy Adams’ skinny-dipping forays in the Potomac and Herbert Hoover’s Chinese-language conversations with his wife, in a volume complemented by footnotes and an additional “Presidential Notes and Quotes” section. 10,000 first printing. Jr Lib Guild Premier.


Rutherford B. Who Was He?Rutherford B., Who Was He?: Poems about Our Presidents – Innovative rhymes about America’s 19th president while placing his achievements within the context of his time, incorporating short biographical details and presidential quotes.

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25 Olympic Books for Kids That Are Pure Gold

25 Olympic Books for Kids That Are Pure Gold

More Booklists

Long-Armed Ludy is the story of Olympic athlete Lucile Godbold. Lucile competed in track and field events at the 1922 Women’s World Games. The Women’s World Games were held when the International Olympic Committee refused to include women’s events in the 1924 Olympic Games. I did not know that happened! I had never heard of The Women’s World Games before. Lucile was a trailblazer! It takes a lot of hard work and practice to be an Olympic athlete. It also takes a lot of money. Find out how Lucile made it to the games with a little help from her friends! 

Listed below are more books, websites & databases that will help you learn about the history of Olympic competition and find out more about athletes like Lucile.

You can even view some online images of Olympic Artifacts at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis like this 2002 Winter Olympics Banner. “The mascots of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics represented the land and culture of Utah and the American West. Inspired by images from ancient petroglyphs, Powder the Hare, Coal the Bear and Copper the Coyote were chosen as ideal icons for the 2002 Games.”

Websites:


Books:

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books at any of our locations, or check out e-books and e-audiobooks from home right to your device. Click on a book jacket below to request a book or download it. Need help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations, text a librarian at 317 333-6877, or leave a comment.

The Boys in the BoatThe OlympicsOlympic ExpertInside the OlympicsA Passion for VictoryAmerica's Champion SwimmerBright Path: Young Jim ThorpeDream Big Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Olympic GoldFreeze Frame Winter OlympicsHow to Train with a T Rex and Win 8 Gold MedalsJesse Owens Fastest Man AliveMassacre in MunichMiracle on IceNadia the Girl Who Couldn't Sit StillThrough Time OlympicsQueen of the TrackRun with MeSixteen Years in Sixteen SecondsSurfer of the CenturySwifter Higher StrongerThe Golden Girls of RioThe Wildest Race EverThe World's Greatest OlympiansTouch the SkyUndefeated Jim ThorpeWilma UnlimitedYou Wouldn't Want to Be a Greek Athlete
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Black History: Painters & Artists

Black History: Painters & Artists

More Black History

Heart and Soul

African American artist Ashley Bryan was born in 1923 and 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 use to create things. After he graduated from high school he wanted to go to college and study art. This would have been in the time right before World War II, well before the Civil Rights Movement. Ashley 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.

In his book, Ashley explains how he 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 like 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:

Biography in Context is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Biography in Context will show you biographies, magazines, videos and more about African American Artists.​


Books:

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books at any of our locations, or check out e-books and e-audiobooks from home right to your device. Click on a book jacket below to request a book or download it. Need help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations, text a librarian at 317 333-6877, or leave a comment.

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

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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