This guest post is by Tia Biamont, Elementary School librarian, Teacher and Mom. Tia’s inspirational Black History Month displays are both educational and entertaining. The perfect mix of digital media & traditional books to appeal to the varied tastes of modern day kids. This included Author bio’s, Book Reviews, scannable barcodes and video footage on iPads/computers.
Of all the books and dynamic video footage of amazing & notable people who’ve contributed so impressively to our society, the one that’s getting the most attention from the children is Jazz Age Josephine
Josephine Baker was born Freda Josephine McDonald in 1906 to a laundress and a musician. At the age of 13, she began touring the United States with the Jones Family Band and The Dixie Steppers, two comic groups. She performed various comical skits. When the troupes split, she tried to advance to a chorus girl, but she was turned down because she was “too skinny and too dark.” She continued to have trouble landing roles as a singer, actress, and dancer, so she moved to France.
She was wildly popular in France. During World War II, she performed for the French troops and smuggled secret messages for the French government that were written on her music sheets. In the 50s and 60s, she visited the United States to help fight for Civil Rights. She spoke out about her experience of being refused service at the Stork Club. To show that children of different colors could get along, she adopted 12 children from around the world. She called her family the Rainbow Tribe. She spoke at rallies and was a speaker at the civil rights convention where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Click to See Josephine in action