Tag Archives: U.S. History

Native Americans

Native Americans

Edward S. Curtis Chronicles Native NtionsEdward S. Curtis was an American photographer born in 1868. His specialty was taking pictures of the American West and Native Americans. He had a vision to document as much Native American tradition and culture as he could before their way of life disappeared.

In Native Nations you will learn about Curtis’s life, but also learn about how he became interested in documenting the lives of the people he saw and why he felt it was so important to capture these images. Thank goodness he did! The book includes many of his photographs. These are not re-enactments. These are not models or actors dressed in traditional clothes. These are photographs taken of real people in the actual time period. The images capture what a person would have seen at the time with his or her own eyes. Curtis was a photo-journalist long before anyone thought to use that term. Listed below are more websites and books to help you learn about Native Americans.

To give you a start looking at what their life was like, you can look at some historical artifacts like this cradleboard which is part of the collection of Artifacts at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Cradleboard – “Native American mothers, aunts, and grandmothers demonstrated their love and hope for infants by creating elaborately decorated cradle covers or cradleboards. They used beads, pain, wood, or tacks to make special carriers for their infants. Mothers carried their babies in the cradleboards, like this one, or strapped it to the side of a horse. It was easy to prop the cradleboard with the infant near a tree or dwelling while the mother performed daily chores. Many elders believed cradleboards “socialized” infants when worn because it brought the child to the eye level of the adults.” More Native American Artifacts at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.


Websites, Activities & Printables:

US History in Context Logo

U.S. History in Context: Native Americans is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Login using your IndyPL library card number. It will show you biographies, magazines, videos and more about Native Americans.​

 

Novelist K-8 Logo

NoveList K-8: Stories about Native Americans is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Login using your IndyPL library card number. Novelist will show you fiction chapter books and picture books you can read about Native Americans. Click on “Check the Library Catalog” to see if IndyPL has the book.


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.

U-X-L Encyclopedia of Native American TribesNative Americans a Visual ExplorationHands on History Native AmericansBuckskin Dresses and Pumpkin BreechesLooks Like Daylight Voices of Indigenous KidsBones on the GroundChildren of the TipiBefore ColumbusExploring the Life, Myth and Art of Native AmericansDo All Indians Live in TipisTurtle IslandNative American HeroesSequoyahHiawatha and the PeacemakerRed CloudTecumsehUndefeated Jim ThorpePaiute PrincessChester Nez and the Unbreakable CodeSitting BullThe Rough Face GirlThe Legend of the Indian PaintbrushThe Legend of the BluebonnetBuffalo Bird GirlCrossing Bok ChittoHow Raven Got His Crooked NoseTricksterThe Birchbark HouseMakoonsGhost HawkIn the Footsteps of Crazy HorseFatty LegsHow I Became a GhostThe Spirit Trackers

Indiana Books & WebsitesFocus on Indiana:

The Miami, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Mascoutens, Delaware (Lenape), Shawnee were some of the Native Americans that lived in Indiana before settlers came here. One of the most well-known Native Americans from Indiana is the Miami Chief, Little Turtle. The websites and books below will help you learn more about Native Americans who lived in Indiana.

The MiamisSalt
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Homework Help: Pioneers

Homework Help: Pioneers

Presenting Buffalo BillIn American history, the time period know as the Old West is the time between the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and the last continental state, Arizona, being added to the Union in 1912 (two states were added later, Hawaii and Alaska). People living during this time period are well known for populating the land west of the Mississippi. Stories from this time period often recount the legendary deeds of explorers, trappers, and mountain men. One of those people is William Frederick Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill. Buffalo Bill is one of the most well-known larger-than-life figures of the American West. He served for the Union during the Civil War, was a scout for the US Army, received the Medal of Honor in 1872, performed in shows depicting life on the frontier and founded Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

By reading about an event from the perspective of different people, you can get a more well-rounded idea of what that event or time period was really like. You can do the same thing by reading books that tell you about the different people, customs and events of a certain time period. Listed below are books, websites & databases that will help you learn about pioneering and the Old West.

To give you a start looking at what life was like in the American West, here is a Conestoga Wagon, an Artifact at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “Hundreds of years ago, travelers depended on wagons and carriages just as we depend on our cars today. Made in Pennsylvania about 1803, this wagon hauled farm produce or machinery. As pioneers moved west, families used wagons like this one to move all of their family belongings and tools west of the Appalachian Mountains.”

More Pioneer Artifacts at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.


Websites, Activities & Printables:

 

US History in Context Logo

U.S. History in Context: Homesteading & the Oregon Trail – A database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Login using your IndyPL library card number. It will show you biographies, magazines, videos and more about the American West, pioneers and the frontier.​

 

Novelist K-8 Logo

NoveList K-8: Stories about Pioneers and the American West is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Login using your IndyPL library card number. Novelist will show you fiction chapter books and picture books you can read set in the time of the American West. “Check the Library Catalog” to see if IndyPL has the book.


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.

Bad News for OutlawsDressing a NationDaniel BooneThe Donner PartyExplorers Trappers and PioneersGreat Pioneer ProjectsWild Women of the Wild WestHow to Get Rich on the Oregon TrailYou Wouldn't Want to Be an American PioneerSeed By SeedPainting the Wild FrontierThe Westward MovementYou Wouldn't Want to Live in a Wild West TownHornbooks and InkwellsTexas RangersVoices of the Western FrontierThe Ballad of Lucy WhippleCaddie WoodlawnDonner Dinner PartyHattie Big SkyLittle House on the PrairieMay BSarah Plain and TallWoods Runner

Indiana Books & Websites:

Focus on Indiana Logo


AloneThe Bears of Blue riverThe Conners of conner PrairieLog Cabin in the WoodsMy Brother AbeOllie's Cabin in the WoodsA Place Called FreedomSalt a Story of FriendshipThe School at Crooked CreekWhere the River GrinsBlossoms on the RoofThe Floating House
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Read Thru History: Black History Timeline 1954-1968

Read Thru History: Black History Timeline 1954-1968

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

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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Black History: Painters & Artists

Black History: Painters & Artists

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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