Cover image for Biddy Mason speaks up
Title:
Biddy Mason speaks up
ISBN:
9781597144032
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Berkeley, California : Heyday, [2019]
Physical Description:
105 pages : color illustrations, color maps ; 24 cm.
Contents:
Healing -- Plantation wounds -- Stolen and carried away -- Long walk west, 1848 -- Cottonwood, Utah -- California dreaming -- Freedom for some -- Hope -- Verdict, 1856 -- Living free -- Home -- Building community -- Healing your community: from Biddy's day to ours.
Summary:
Presents the life of a California ex-slave, nurse, and midwife, who started many philanthropic projects.
Personal Subject:
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Children's Book 306.362 White
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Children's Book 306.362 White
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Children's Book 306.362 White
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Children's Book 306.362 White
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Children's Book 306.362 White
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Children's Book 306.362 White
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Children's Book 306.362 White
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Children's Book 306.362 White
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On Order

Summary

Summary

Building on the brilliance of Fred Korematsu Speaks Up , the newest installment in the Fighting for Justice series introduces young readers to another real-life champion for civil rights: Bridget "Biddy" Mason, an African American philanthropist, healer, and midwife who was born into slavery. When Biddy arrived in California, where slavery was technically illegal, she was kept captive by her owners and forced to work without pay. But when Biddy learned that she was going to be taken to a slave state, she launched a plan to win her freedom. She refused to be defined by her enslavement, and coauthors Arisa White and Laura Atkins devote much of their narrative to Biddy Mason's later life as a business and civic leader in the fledgling city of Los Angeles. Biddy Mason Speaks Up is an age-appropriate yet unflinching examination of slavery, racism, and community healing in the United States. Each chapter begins with lyrical verse and full-color illustrations that draw readers into the narrative, and is followed by visually engaging sections filled with keyword definitions, historical context, timelines, and primary sources. Throughout the book, the authors pose questions to the reader, such as "How do you see power at work in your community?", making Biddy Mason's story all the more relatable to the present day.


Author Notes

Arisa White is a Cave Canem graduate poet and her work has been nominated for the NAACP Image Awards, California Book Awards, and Wheatley Book Awards. Her recent poetry collection You're the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened was a nominee for the 29th Lambda Literary Awards. As the creator of the Beautiful Things Project, Arisa curates cultural events and artistic collaborations that center narratives of queer and trans people of color. She serves on the board of directors for Nomadic Press and is an assistant professor at Colby College.Laura Atkins is an author, teacher, and independent children's book editor with over twenty years of editorial experience. She worked at Children's Book Press, Orchard Books, and Lee and Low Books, helping to produce winners of the Coretta Scott King Award and American Library Association Notable Book selections, among others. She taught creative writing at the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature (NCRCL) in London, where she also received her M.A. in children's literature, and she completed her M.F.A. in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2016. In addition to cowriting Fred Korematsu Speaks Up , Laura is the author of the lighthearted picture book Sled Dog Dachshund (Minted Prose Press). Passionate about diversity and equity in children's books, Laura is based in Berkeley, California, where she lives with her daughter.Laura Freeman is an illustrator of children's books, editorial content, and licensed art. She's also a mom, a gardener, and a Photoshop junkie. She's a displaced New Yorker, currently living in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two children.


Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-White and Atkins detail the life of Bridget "Biddy" Mason, a successful nurse and businesswoman who secured freedom for her and her children through legal action, and use her story as a lens through which to examine the experiences of enslaved people in the United States and the history of slavery as an institution. Each chapter begins in verse accompanied by bright illustrations, describing imagined scenes from Mason's life. (The introduction states that the authors "imagin[ed] Biddy Mason's life based on all the information and stories we could gather." The detailed source notes, located in the back matter, indicate where the information was drawn from.) This is followed by factual investigations into key historical moments and daily life throughout the time period. These thoughtfully written sections are well arranged with clear headings, definitions for important terms in the text and in sidebars, captioned historical images, questions for discussion, and time lines. An extensive amount of back matter makes this an enormously useful resource for students. A section at the end titled "Healing Your Community: From Biddy's Day to Ours" encourages readers to think about injustice in their own communities, and how they might speak up themselves. Readers and those recommending this book should note that the book includes a description of rape and discussion of sexual abuses suffered by enslaved people. VERDICT A first purchase for biography, history, and general nonfiction collections alike.-Darla Salva Cruz, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.