Our Stories: The African-American Experience

Wind Flyers

By Angela Johnson

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A boy's love of flight takes him on a journey from the dusty dirt roads of Alabama to the war-torn skies of Europe. An introduction to the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II.

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Where's Jamela?

By Niki Daly

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When Mama gets a new job and a new house, everyone is excited about moving except Jamela who likes her old house just fine.

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A Sweet Smell of Roses

By Angela Johnson

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There's a sweet, sweet smell in the air as two young girls sneak out of their house, down the street, and across town to where men and women are gathered, ready to march for freedom and justice.

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Show Way

By Jacqueline Woodson

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The making of "Show Ways," or quilts which once served as secret maps for freedom-seeking slaves, is a tradition passed from mother to daughter in the author's family.

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Shake, Shake, Shake

By Andrea and Brian Pinkney

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A mother and her young children enjoy playing with an African instrument called the shekere.

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Ruth and the Green Book

By Calvin Alexander Ramsey with Gwen Strauss

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When Ruth and her parents take a motor trip from Chicago to Alabama to visit her grandma, they rely on a pamphlet called "The Negro Motorist Green Book" to find places that will serve them.

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Pretty Brown Face

By Andrea and Brian Pinkney

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A baby discovers why his pretty brown face is so special.

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Precious and the Boo Hag

By Patricia C. McKissack and Onawumi Jean Moss

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Home alone with a stomachache while the family works in the fields, a young girl faces up to the horrifying Boo Hag that her brother warned her about.

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Night Boat to Freedom

By Margot Theis Raven

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At the request of his fellow slave Granny Judith, Christmas John risks his life to take runaways across a river from Kentucky to Ohio. Based on slave narratives recorded in the 1930s.

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Liberty Street

By Candice Ransom

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Young Kezia is a slave, living in nineteenth-century Fredericksburg, Virginia, until her mother helps her escape.

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