Quick Performance Update (next two weeks):
Apr. 3, 4, 6, 7 & 13 - Performances for Worldstrides, Inc. Student Tour Groups in Williamsburg, VA.
Sat., Apr. 11 - Lancaster Court Days, @Mary Washington Library and Museum, Lancaster, VA; 10 am – 4 pm (Oney Judge Historic Character Presentation, Ol’ Bess Historic Character Presentation, General Storytelling)
Other Apr. performances: California (Hawthorne); South Carolina (Woodruff), Virginia (Herndon, Oregon, Portsmouth, Williamsburg)
Upcoming May performances: California (Fresno); New York (Westchester County); VA (Norfolk, Williamsburg), West Virginia (Shepherdstown)
This year I am attempting to participate in the A-Z Blogging Challenge 2015. My theme is “History Stories and the telling of them.” My desire is to share some history facts and the stories I think are intriguing around them, along with some ways I have told history stories and techniques of researching and telling historical stories. (That was a mouthful!) So let’s begin….
A = Althea Gibson
|Althea Gibson from www.biography.com|
One of my friends, school librarian”, Janet Bass at Oklahoma Christian Schools, always gives me a book when I come and perform at her school. She gives very unique and great choices and knows my likes. This year she gave me the book, 28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World by Charles R. Smith, Jr. and illustrated by Shane W. Evans. I was curious about the book because of its title and the introduction’s purpose to give unique African-American history dates to correlate with the amount of days in Black History Month. It was a quick read and I want to encourage teachers and others to use it in the classroom, and I have a desire to work with author to create a Teacher’s Lesson plan for the book, however, the story of Wilma Rudolph grabbed me.
|Wilma Rudolph from|
I have previously read about Wilma Rudolph, the famed African-American Olympic track star, but I didn’t remember her life story: “nineteen siblings”, “battled pneumonia, measles and scarlet fever and polio”, “the child would never again walk”, leg messages given by her family, then basketball, track and the Olympic gold. Ah! What a story! The overcoming, the persistence, the family rallying around….. oops, this is supposed to be about Althea Gibson. Uh….hmmm….ever have that moment when you forget a name or you change one name for another? Well, I did just as I was beginning to think about this challenge, but I decided to use “Althea’s name anyway”
Moving forward….As I read this story, and the others I saw lots of historical stories just waiting to be told. Althea Gibson [see she’s in there] – started tennis at 14 and was a prodigy, became first African American to win the French Open; Robert Smalls – commandeers a Confederate sheep and captains it to freedom and later to the US Congress; Mae Jemison – skips 7th grade because reading at a college level, enters high school at age 12 and lives up to her 5-year-old declaration to her teacher “I mean to be a scientist” (and an astronaut). I can’t wait to research more on some of these and add the stories to my repertoire. I want to be clear, though, I’m not just adding these stories because I’m African-American, but because they are stories that inspire, motivate and instruct. I encourage many storytellers of various cultures and heritage to tell these stories.
What historical person’s story inspires you and that you tell or would like to tell? Do you tell stories from cultures other than your own? Oh, and ever have that moment when you mix up a name? (welcome to my world!)
P.S. Another good book about historical persons is 50 American Heroes Every Kid Should Meet by Dennis Denenberg & Lorraine Roscoe. Enjoy!