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The Abcs of Black History

by ;
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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2020-12-08
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company

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Supplemental Materials

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B is for Beautiful, Brave, and Bright! And for a Book that takes a Bold journey through the alphabet of Black history and culture.

Letter by letter, The ABCs of Black History celebrates a story that spans continents and centuries, triumph and heartbreak, creativity and joy.
It’s a story of big ideas––P is for Power, S is for Science and Soul. Of significant moments––G is for Great Migration. Of iconic figures––H is for Zora Neale Hurston, X is for Malcom X. It’s an ABC book like no other, and a story of hope and love.

In addition to rhyming text, the book includes back matter with information on the events, places, and people mentioned in the poem, from Mae Jemison to W. E. B. Du Bois, Fannie Lou Hamer to Sam Cooke, and the Little Rock Nine to DJ Kool Herc.


Author Biography

Rio Cortez is a writer and Pushcart-nominated poet who has received fellowships from Poet's House, Cave Canem, and CantoMundo foundations. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Los Angeles Review of Books, The New Yorker, and Prairie Schooner, among others. Rio writes and lives in Harlem where she works as a bookseller and buyer for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Lauren Semmer is an artist, children’s book illustrator, and designer. She studied drawing at St. Paul College of Visual Arts and art history at New York University. Lauren’s bright and charming work is featured on everything from kid’s wall art to children’s apparel. She lives in Manhattan with her family. 

Table of Contents

The ABCs of Black History: Terms and Figures

James Baldwin

A is for Anthem
Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing
James Weldon Johnson
John Rosamond Johnson

B is for Beautiful, Brave, Bright, Bold, Brotherhood, Believing
"Black is beautiful"
Kwame Brathwaite
Soul Train
Don Cornelius

C is for Community, Church, Civil Rights
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dexter Avenue Baptist Church

D is for Diaspora
African Diaspora
slave trade
the Democrative Republic of Congo
the Ivory Coast

E is for Explore, Education, Expanding the mind
Linda Brown and Brown v. Board of Education
Ruby Bridges
Little Rock Nine
Matthew Henson
Mae Jemison

F is for Food, Farmed, Fried Fish, Folklore, Family, Freedom
Emancipation Proclamation
soul food
"jumping the broom"

G is for Go!, Great Migration
Black Codes
blues music

H is for Harlem, Heart, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston
W.E.B. Du Bois
Alain Locke
Harlem Renaissance
James Weldon Johnson
Jean Toomer
Arna Bontemps
Countee Cullen
Claude McKay
Duke Ellington
Bessie Smith
Louis Armstrong
Ethel Waters
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson
"Ma" Rainey
Eubie Blake
Apollo Theater
Paul Robeson
Marcus Garvey
Arthur Schomburg
Henry O. Tanner
James Van Der Zee
Aaron Douglass
Augusta Savage
Lillian Harris Dean (Pig Foot Mary)

I is for Imagine, Invent, Innovative
George Washington Carver
Madame C.J. Walker (Sarah Breedlove)
Gwendolyn Brooks
Alvin Ailey
DJ Kool Herc
Jean-Michel Basquiat

J is for Joy, Juneteenth, J'Ouvert Morning


K is for Kin, Kwanzaa
Dr. Maulana Karenga
Kwanzaa principles:

L is for Love
Rose and Ashley / Ashley's sack (Rose was Ashley's mother and they were both enslaved. When Ashley was sold at the age of 9, her mother gave her a sack that held the scraps of a dress, handfuls of pecans, and a braid of Rose's hair. They never saw each other again, but the sack has survived generations.)
Nat Love
Mildred Loving
Marsha "Pay It No Mind" Johnson

M is for March, Matter
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (1963)
"I Have a Dream" speech
Bloody Sunday
March from Selma to Montgomery
John Lewis
"We Shall Overcome"
"Wade in the Water"
"Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round"
Ahmaud Arbery
Breonna Taylor
George Floyd
Black Lives Matter
Patrisse Kahn-Cullors
Alicia Garza
Opal Tometi

N is for Newspapers
abolitionist movement
The North Star
Frederick Douglass
Chicago Defender
Pittsburgh Courier
Richmond Planet
Chicago Bee

Johnson Publishing Company
John H. Johnson
Negro Digest

O is for Organize
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
Freedom Summer
Freedom Rides
Diane Nash
Fred Hampton
Ella Baker
Southern Christian Leadership Conference

P is for Power, Panther, People, Power, President, Possible
"Black Power"
Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture)
Black Panther Party
Bobby Seale
Huey P. Newton
Thurgood Marshall
Shirley Chisholm
Barack Obama

Q is for Queens
Queen Nefertiti, ancient Egyptian queen
Queen Amina, mid-16th century queen, present-day Nigeria
Queen Nandi Ndlovukazi kaBhebe, 18th century queen of the Zulu in what is now South Africa
Queen Yaa Asantewaa, 19th century Ashanti Queen, present-day Ghana
Ruby Hurley, "queen of Civil Rights"
Ida B. Wells
Leontyne Price
Toni Morrison
Michelle Obama
Toni Morrison

R is for Rise, Relentlessly striving, Refusing to stop
Rube Foster, Negro Leagues
Jesse Owens
Jackie Robinson
Althea Gibson
Muhammad Ali
Arthur Ashe
Florence Griffith Joyner
Shani Davis
Gabby Douglas

S is for Scientists, Stars, Study, Soul, Sweet, Sound
Charles H. Turner
Daniel Hale Williams
Vivien Thomas
Benjamin Banneker
Patricia Bath
Katherine Johnson
Kizzmekia Corbett
Ray Charles
Aretha Franklin
Sam Cooke
James Brown
Sister Rosetta Tharpe

T is for Tuskegee, Trades, Toiled, Tools, Booker T., True
Tuskegee Institute
Tuskegee Airmen
Booker T. Washington
W.E.B. DuBois

U is for United States, Unbroken, Unshaken, Unbound, Underground Railroad, Unfinished
U.S. Constitution
13th Amendment
14th Amendment
15th Amendment
The Civil War
African-American Flag
David Hammons
Harriet Tubman
the Underground Railroad

V is for Vote
Fannie Lou Hamer
Freedom Summer

W is for Writers, Wisdom, Words, Worlds
Arthur Schomburg
Negro Society for Historical Research
Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture

X is for Malcolm X

Y is for Young, Gifted and Black, You
Lorraine Hansberry
A Raisin in the Sun
"To Be Young, Gifted and Black"
Nina Simone

Z is for Zenith
Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Mountaintop Speech"

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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