For Your Consideration: Coretta Scott King

Hey everyone, Sarah!

I’m here to share with you a book that I think should be considered for an American Library Association Youth Media Award which we don’t cover on our Mock Mondays. This week, I ask you to consider the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. This award speaks to the legacy of Coretta Scott King and the African American culture. This is a collection of awards and I believe the work I chose the week is a strong contender for author, and illustrator. For more information about the award visit the official page.

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Title: Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre

Author: Carole Boston Weatherford

Illustrator: Floyd Cooper

Summary:

In the early 1900s there was a thriving African American community, Greenwood. Black owned business were abundant, alongside libraries, newspapers, a school system, and hospital. This town represented black success in America, which the white community took issue with. After a white woman accused a black man of assault, the two groups began to fight. The white mob wanted to exact revenge against the accused man, and the black community worked to protect him. Ultimately, this ended in hundreds of deaths in the black community. Greenwood was ransacked by the white mob and the police sided with the white community. This horror was swept under the rug and even as the black community attempted to rebuild Greenwood, they were given obstacles at every turn. The government eventually investigated the riot and and there was a place set aside to honor the victims, but the scars of discriminations and racism still remain.

Coretta Scott King Considerations:

This book speaks to the black experience and black history. The author and illustrator found a personal connection to this story, through both the ever-present American racism and having a relative involved by the riot. The end papers pair illustration at the beginning with photo at the end, truly highlighting the reality and devastation of the events described in the work. This work walks right up to the horror of this massacre and walks through it. The book does not minimize the devastation, it walks the reader through the entire experience and gives the reader a chance to do better in the future. The details of the illustrations are haunting and gorgeous, this book will find a place in many classrooms.

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