December 18, 2019

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In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers

By: Javaka Steptoe
Recommended for grade(s): 3, 4
In this intergenerational collection of Poetry by new and established African American writers, fatherhood is celebrated with honor, Humor, and grace. . In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall testifies to the powerful bond between father and child, recognizing family as our greatest gift, and identifying fathers as being among our most influential heroes.  Coretta Scott King Award Winner 1998.  —from Penguin Random House
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When you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him. --Ashante proverb
  • Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
    Barack Obama

    Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

    By: Barack Obama
    Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12

    Nine years before the Senate campaign that made him one of the most influential and compelling voices in American politics, Barack Obama published this lyrical, unsentimental, and powerfully affecting memoir, which became a #1 New York Times bestseller when it was reissued in 2004. Dreams from My Father tells the story of Obama’s struggle to understand the forces that shaped him as the son of a black African father and white American mother—a struggle that takes him from the American heartland to the ancestral home of his great-aunt in the tiny African village of Alego. Obama opens his story in New York, where he hears that his father—a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man—has died in a car accident. The news triggers a chain of memories as Barack retraces his family’s unusual history: the migration of his mother’s family from small-town Kansas to the Hawaiian islands; the love that develops between his mother and a promising young Kenyan student, a love nurtured by youthful innocence and the integrationist spirit of the early sixties; his father’s departure from Hawaii when Barack was two, as the realities of race and power reassert themselves; and Barack’s own awakening to the fears and doubts that exist not just between the larger black and white worlds but within himself. Propelled by a desire to understand both the forces that shaped him and his father’s legacy, Barack moves to Chicago to work as a community organizer. There, against the backdrop of tumultuous political and racial conflict, he works to turn back the mounting despair of the inner city. His story becomes one with those of the people he works with as he learns about the value of community, the necessity of healing old wounds, and the possibility of faith in the midst of adversity. Barack’s journey comes full circle in Kenya, where he finally meets the African side of his family and confronts the bitter truth of his father’s life. Traveling through a country racked by brutal poverty and tribal conflict, but whose people are sustained by a spirit of endurance and hope, Barack discovers that he is inescapably bound to brothers and sisters living an ocean away—and that by embracing their common struggles he can finally reconcile his divided inheritance. --From the website at Penguin Random House

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  • In My Father's House
    Ernest Gaines

    In My Father's House

    By: Ernest Gaines
    Recommended for grade(s): 10, 11, 12

    A compelling novel of a man brought to reckon with his buried past. In St. Adrienne, a small black community in Louisiana, Reverend Phillip Martin—a respected minister and civil rights leader—comes face to face with the sins of his youth in the person of Robert X, a young, unkempt stranger who arrives in town for a mysterious “meeting” with the Reverend. In the confrontation between the two, the young man’s secret burden explodes into the open, and Phillip Martin begins a long-neglected journey into his youth to discover how destructive his former life was, for himself and for those around him. --From the website at Penguin Random House

    Where to Find

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  • In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers
    Javaka Steptoe

    In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers

    By: Javaka Steptoe
    Recommended for grade(s): 3, 4

    In this intergenerational collection of Poetry by new and established African American writers, fatherhood is celebrated with honor, Humor, and grace. . In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall testifies to the powerful bond between father and child, recognizing family as our greatest gift, and identifying fathers as being among our most influential heroes.  Coretta Scott King Award Winner 1998.  —from Penguin Random House

    Where to Find

    Score a physical copy of the book.

  • Jefferson's Sons: A Founding Father's Secret Children
    Kimberly Bradley

    Jefferson's Sons: A Founding Father's Secret Children

    By: Kimberly Bradley
    Recommended for grade(s): 6

    This story of Thomas Jefferson’s children by one of his slaves, Sally Hemings, tells a darker piece of America’s history from an often unseen perspective-that of three of Jefferson’s slaves-including two of his own children. As each child grows up and tells his story, the contradiction between slavery and freedom becomes starker, calliing into question the real meaning of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." This poignant story sheds light on what life was like as one of Jefferson’s invisible offspring. --From the website at Penguin Random House

    Where to Find

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