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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Black History Month: Learning about Huntsville, Alabama and Civil Rights Movement

Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me a copy of this book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.
http://www.candlewick.com/cat.asp?browse=Title&mode=book&isbn=0763669199&pix=n

Have you heard of Huntsville, Alabama? You may know it as the "Space Center of the Universe" or "Rocket City." After all the Marshall Space Flight Center is just on the outskirts of Huntsville. 

MSFC rocket park
Marshall Space Flight Center Rocket Park
By NASA/MSFC/Fred Deaton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
But today we are not going to talk about rockets or space. (If you are interested in those kind of topics check out my post on Endeavour's Long Journey.) We are going to talk about the Civil Rights Movement. This is what Seeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama by Hester Bass is about.

http://www.candlewick.com/cat.asp?browse=Title&mode=book&isbn=0763669199&pix=n
Now I am sure you have heard about the Civil Rights Movement in Montgomery, and Selma, Alabama. but in Huntsville? Probably not. In the 1960s segregation was alive and well in Huntsville just like the rest of Alabama. There were sit-ins, demonstrations and arrests. A baby was arrested!! George Wallace came to campaign to be governor and spread his message of segregation forever and the blacks of Huntsville demonstrated on the other side of the building to counteract his message of hate. The blacks of Huntsville even had a smart and peaceful Blue Jean Sunday for Easter instead of purchasing the fancy new clothes they usually bought from the white business owners. Now at this point the people in Huntsville realize they need to put an end to these demonstrations, but it cannot be in a violent manner like so many other cities have tried, because the city depends on the government funding coming from the space program. The mayor of the city works on a new peaceful plan. More and more black and white people came together. Of course the fight is not over. There is still segregation of the schools to fight. Courts ordered for integration in the schools. Governor Wallace fought it using the state troops to lock all the public schools that were going to admit black students across the state. However once the excitement died down, the schools did open. On September 9, 1963, Dr. Sonnie W. Hereford, III walks his son into Fifth Avenue School. Sonnie W. Hereford, IV becomes the first black child to attend an all-white public school in the state of Alabama. It should also be mentioned that the twelve white students who were to enter a black private religious school were able to do so without incident. Seeds of Freedom tells the story as if you are witnessing it yourself.

I can honestly say I highly recommend this beautiful book to anyone who wants to learn about the peaceful solutions to racism. It is such a wonderful book telling the story with the underlying theme of a seed (idea) growing with each demonstration or act. 
http://multiculturalkidblogs.com/black-history-month-2015/

Now I will be posting in the Multicultural Kid Blogs Black History Month Series and Giveaway later this month. The series begins on Monday and the giveaway is already open. I will be sharing this post at the link party there as well. Please check it out!! There are some amazing prizes!!

For more posts about Civil Rights Movements and Black History check out: