'Dear Mrs. Parks: A Dialogue with Today's Youth,' published by Lee & Low. It's a collection of letters between young people and Rosa Parks. The letters are short and to the point; they are an excellent way to get into Rosa Parks' head.
Also because I'm a writer I have many literature anthologies at home. I'm now reading a new one compiled by Henry Louis Gates and Nellie McKay, 'Norton Anthology of African American Literature.' It's really the most thorough I've seen. I'm reading short stories and poems by writers I didn't know about. They include musical lyrics and folktales as well as written literature. They understand that the body of African-American literature extends beyond written works. It's about 2,600 pages, so I'll be reading it for a while.
I just finished 'The Watsons Go To Birmingham 1963,' by Christopher Paul Curtis. It's a work of fiction about an eccentric -- family from Detroit that drives South in the summer of 1963. The trip is a rude awakening to the reality of black life in the South and North at that time. But it's done in a funny child-friendly way that makes it great for kids and adults.
'Black Artists & Photography 1840-1940,' by George Sullivan is a great book. It has these beautiful old photographs that tell so much of life in this country.
Cheryl Willis Hudson
-- Wade and Cheryl Willis Hudson, co-authors of 'In Praise of Our Fathers and Our Mothers: A Black Family Treasury of Outstanding Authors and Artists,' will lead a Black History Month presentation at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore on March 2. The husband and wife also own Just Us Books, a children's books publishing company in New Jersey, and between them have written and edited several children's and African-American history books.
Pub Date: 2/23/97