Family, Community, and a Little Friendly Competition

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February marks Black History Month which is a great opportunity to share stories about the grace and achievements of black inventors, civil rights leaders, and entertainers. It’s also an excellent time to read some stories that bridge the racial divide. Stories that feature African American protagonists in tales that transcend race and ethnicity.

In “This Is the Rope” by Jacqueline Woodson a piece of rope follows a family through generations. Then family and community merge in “The Hula-Hooping Queen” by Thelma Lynne Godin. A little friendly competition takes place as well.  And speaking of competition “The Quickest Kid in Clarksville” by Pat Zietlow Miller tries to determine whose feet are the fastest. New sneakers always make you think you can run like Usain Bolt but these young girls living in Clarkville, TN in the 1960’s have a different hero to chase.

The Hula-Hoopin' Queen

Kameeka is confident that today she will finally beat her rival, Jamara, and become the Hula-Hoopin’ Queen of 139th Street. But then Mama reminds her that today is their neighbour Miz Adeline’s birthday, and Kameeka has to get ready for the party they are hosting. But then Miz Adeline’s confesses something too: she’s also got the itch – the hula-hoopin’ itch! Her fingers start snappin’. Her hips start swingin’. Soon everyone’s hips are swinging as the party spills out onto the street. The whole neighbourhood’s got the itch – the hula-hoopin’ itch!