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Alvin Ailey

by Andrea Davis Pinkney Brian Pinkney

Describes the life, dancing, and choreography of Alvin Ailey, who created his own modern dance company to explore the black experience. Alvin Ailey is a biography of a brilliant dancer/choreographer as well as the story of the creation of Revelations, his modern dance masterpiece which premiered in New York City in 1960

Dear America: With the Might of Angels

by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Coretta Scott King winner Andrea Davis Pinkney brings her talents to a brand-new Dear America diary about the Civil Rights Movement. In the fall of 1955, twelve-year-old Dawn Rae Johnson's life turns upside down. After the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Dawnie learns she will be attending a previously all-white school. She's the only one of her friends to go to this new school and to leave the comfort of all that is familiar to face great uncertainty in the school year ahead. However, not everyone supports integration and much of the town is outraged at the decision. Dawnie must endure the harsh realities of racism firsthand, while continuing to work hard to get a good education and prove she deserves the opportunity. But the backlash against Dawnie's attendance of an all-white school is more than she's prepared for. When her father loses his job as a result, and her little brother is constantly bullied, Dawnie has to wonder if it's worth it. In time, Dawnie learns that the true meaning of justice comes from remaining faithful to the integrity within oneself.

Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra

by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, "King of the Keys," was born on April 29, 1899, in Washington, D.C. "He was a smooth-talkin', slick-steppin', piano-playin' kid," writes master wordsmith Andrea Pinkney in the rhythmic, fluid, swinging prose of this excellent biography for early readers. It was ragtime music that first "set Duke's fingers to wiggling." He got back to work and taught himself to "press on the pearlies." Soon 19-year-old Duke was playing compositions "smoother than a hairdo sleeked with pomade" at parties, pool halls, country clubs, and cabarets. Skipping from D.C. to 1920s Harlem, "the place where jazz music ruled," Duke and his small band called the Washingtonians began performing in New York City clubs, including the Cotton Club, where Duke Ellington and his Orchestra was officially born.

Hold Fast to Dreams

by Andrea Davis Pinkney

No other black kids? That couldn't be right. But my friend Lorelle, she said she knew the deal: In places like Wexford everybody's white. For twelve-year-old Deirdre "Camera Dee" Willis, home is Redmond Avenue in Baltimore, where she loves to take photographs of her friends and jump rope with her double-dutch team, the Jumpin' Jive Five. Then her father is promoted and the family has to relocate--all the way to suburban Wexford, Connecticut. Dee's father is certain that the move will mean better opportunities for Dee and her sister, Lindsay. But Dee isn't so sure. From the moment she steps on the school bus that takes her to Wexford Middle School, she's confronted by stares and whispers. None of the other kids in her English class have even HEARD of Langston Hughes, her favorite poet, and someone named Web keeps leaving her notes. And when it comes to trying out for the lacrosse team, Dee finds that not even her fanciest footwork can help her. Why can't she just make herself fit in the way Lindsay does and make her parents happy? Then a series of disturbing events unfolds, and Dee realizes that she isn't the only one having trouble with Wexford.

Martin & Mahalia

by Andrea Davis Pinkney

They were each born with the gift of gospel. Martin's voice kept people in their seats, but also sent their praises soaring. Mahalia's voice was brass-and-butter - strong and smooth at the same time. With Martin's sermons and Mahalia's songs, folks were free to shout, to sing their joy. On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and his strong voice and powerful message were joined and lifted in song by world-renowned gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. It was a moment that changed the course of history and is imprinted in minds forever. Told through Andrea Davis Pinkney's poetic prose and Brian Pinkney's evocative illustration, the stories of these two powerful voices and lives are told side-by-side -- as they would one day walk -- following the journey from their youth to a culmination at this historical event when they united as one and inspiring kids to find their own voices and speak up for what is right.

Profiles #6: Peace Warriors

by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Meet six heroic social activists. The next book in our six-in-one, full-color bio series will focus on Peace Warriors. Featuring men and women who have worked passionately to pioneer peaceful solutions to violent conflicts throughout history. Our peace warriors will include Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Dorothy Day, and Ellen Sirleaf Johnson. Find out about their childhoods, where they went to school, what their families were like, and their major accomplishments. Six inspiring tales of courage and conviction.

Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride

by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Sojourner Truth was as strong and tall as most men. She was big, black, and so beautiful. Born into slavery, Sojourner ran away as a young girl. She cherished her freedom, and believed it should be granted to everyone. But she didn't fight for it with her mighty fists, and she didn't stomp for it with her giant boots. Sojourner spoke the truth, and struggled against injustice with her brave, beautiful words. With lyrical text and spirited illustrations, the award-winning team of Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney brings one of America's greatest heroes to life. Following Sojourner from her courageous plantation escape to her meeting with Abraham Lincoln, this is a stirring portrait of a woman who pulled herself up by her great big bootstraps. A warrior for justice above all else, Sojourner allowed no bias to cross her path without a fight. Ages 5-9

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