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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson

This is a wonderful memoir of the author's growing up experience during the tumultuous Civil Rights movement, all in free verse.  She is a poet, after all, and against all odds, a poet won the National Book Award for Young Adults.  So even if you are not a big fan of poetry, please take a read of this wonderful volume. Here is the poem about her birth, taken from another review.
February 12th 1963
I am born on a Tuesday at the University Hospital
Columbus, Ohio
a country caught
between Black and White.
I am born not long from the time
or far from the place
my great, great grandparents
worked the deep rich land
dawn till dusk
drank cool water from scooped out gourds
looked up and followed
the sky’s mirrored constellation
to freedom.
I am born as the south explodes,
too many people too many years
enslaved then emancipated
but not free, the people
who look like me
keep fighting
and marching
and getting killed
so that today?
February Twelfth Nineteen Sixty-three
and every day from this moment on,
brown children, like me, can grow up
free. Can grow up
learning and voting and walking and riding
wherever we want.
I am born in Ohio but
the stories of South Carolina already run
like rivers
through my veins.

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