Friday, February 22, 2008

Virtual Book Tour: Day 22

On August 28, 1963, nearly 250,000 people gathered in Washington D.C. to support civil rights and the end of segregation. This date in history became known as the March on Washington.

The most famous speech that day was “I Have a Dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Already an important leader in the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King led numerous marches and crusades in support of equal rights, including the famous children’s march and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, sparked when Rosa Parks was arrested because she refused to move to the back of the bus.

When my family and I visited Washington D.C. last June, we climbed the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and stood on the spot where Dr. King gave his historic speech. His words reached out to challenge the citizens of America to truly live by the words written in the Declaration of Independence, and to accept and believe that “all men are created equal.”

As we looked out toward the Washington Memorial from the very spot where he gave his unforgettable speech, Dr. King’s words still rang in my ears, “I have a dream…” His dream was about children playing together and holding hands and growing up together to respect each other and honor each other as fellow human beings…and his dream has become my dream, too. That is why I wrote the book, D is for Drinking Gourd: An African American Alphabet.

Today, this great man in the history of our nation is honored in our nation’s capital. This is the statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the rotunda. I was deeply moved when I saw it.

As we are drawing near to the end of my Virtual Book Tour, I remember a question one of the students from a classroom in Texas asked me during the tour: “What do you think was the worst thing ‘white people’ did to African Americans?” My answer was simply, “I think the worst thing is that people were not kind to other people. No matter how different someone is from you, it’s important to always be kind.” If we can just remember to be kind to one another, we can help make Dr. King’s dream a reality.

Yesterday’s Trivia Q and A:
Yesterday’s question was:
Who was the first African American to serve as Poet Laureate of the Library of Congress?
a. Rita Dove
b. Dorothy Bates
c. Daniel Payne
The answer is: a. Rita Dove. In 1993, the Library of Congress appointed Rita Dove as Poet Laureate. In this honored position, among other duties, she participated in the numerous poetry and literature programs at the Library and offered advice for the Library’s collections and archive.

Coming tomorrow:
Stop by on Day 23 of the Virtual Book Tour for directions for a fun craft to make. Our tour will soon be wrapping up to a close. The last day of the tour will be next Tuesday when I’ll announce the winners of the 5 prizes I’m giving away! Also, check out this link to a brand new blog, In Our Write Minds. This blog will be the last stop on my Virtual Book Tour next Monday and today they posted a "preview." Check it out!


Gloria McQueen Stockstill said...

Nancy, you made me cry! It breaks my heart that we are so unkind to each other, regardless of color. How wonderful if we did what the Bible says and consider others over ourselves. Had we lived by those words, our history would not be stained with this horrible past.

Nancy I. Sanders said...

Yes, Gloria, I have spent many days crying and crying as I've been doing research about African American history. My hope and my prayer is that somehow, D is for Drinking Gourd and the other books I write for kids about African American history will help teach our generation and the generations to come to be kind to each other and treat each other with honor and respect.

Kim Kautzer said...

Nancy, I have so enjoyed your Virtual Tour and all the tidbits you've shared along the way. We're honored to be the last stop on Day 25 of your blog tour. Looking forward to interviewing you on Monday!