Written by Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School
Beginning this week, students are participating in Black History Month learning opportunities. Yesterday, the Middle School went to see the movie Hidden Figures, based on the book of the same title. Books can be used as springboards for enrichment and understanding, so the TFA library makes a concerted effort to put books on our shelves celebrating the lives and achievements of all races and ethnicities. These books are used to supplement curriculum units in the classroom and promote learning. We encourage parents to check out the outstanding books this month to use at home for read-alouds and family discussion. Below is a sampling of some of the library staff’s favorites for this very special month.
Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
Henry is a young slave who is first given away as a gift and forced to leave his family. He then grows up and watches as his wife and children are sold and driven away by their new owners. He is so captivated by the idea of freedom, he creates a bold plan. Aided by a freed slave and a Southern abolitionist from his church, he is shipped in a crate to the Northern states where he is welcomed and begins a new life of freedom.
Game Changer: John Mclendon and the Secret Game by John Coy
Two college basketball teams, one white and one African-American, meet to play in a secret game. It is against the law (!) for them to play against each other. During the game, they learn they have more in common than the differences their culture emphasized. Friendships are forged and perceptions are erased.
Breakthrough!: How Three People Saved “Blue Babies” and Changed Medicine Forever by Jim Murphy
This book tells the story of Vivian Thomas, a brilliant young African-American man whose dream of becoming a doctor disappears when his bank fails during the Great Depression. He becomes a research assistant to one of the nation’s foremost surgeons and creates, and then instructs surgeons to perform, life-saving procedures at a time when most hospital staff thinks he is a janitor due to the color of his skin.
There isn’t the time and space to share summaries of all the many books that celebrate Black History Month in our library. However, names like Wendell Scott, Frederick Douglass, Phillis Wheatley, Jackie Robinson, and Rosa Parks will get your search started in the right direction. Stories of scientists like George Washington Carver, athletes like Jesse Owens, and heroes like the Triple Nickles capture our imagination and help us understand more clearly what the Gospel teaches about the beauty of living in Christian community. Please visit the Boyd-Moline Library to learn more.