Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Lecture Focuses on Writing African American History for Youth

The Birmingham Public Library presents the Ninth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, January 18 at 12:00 p.m. The topic this year focuses on telling stories—telling stories of the Civil Rights Movement to children. The program titled Teach Your Children Well: Writing African American History for Young Readers will feature award-winning authors of children’s books sharing insights on creating books for young readers that tell the history of the Civil Rights Movement. The program is from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Arrington Auditorium of the Birmingham Public Library, Central.

The panelists include:

Larry Brimner, author of a wide variety of children’s books, including We Are One: the Story of Bayard Rustin. Rustin was Martin Luther King’s advisor, a Freedom Rider, and the man who planned the 1963 March on Washington.

Evelyn Coleman, author of several highly-acclaimed children’s books about the Civil Rights Movement, including Freedom Train and White Socks Only. Coleman has received numerous awards, including the Cuffie Award from Publisher’s Weekly.

Jo Kittinger, a Birmingham native and author of Rosa’s Bus: the Ride to Civil Rights.

Jim Baggett, Head of the Department of Archives and Manuscripts at the Birmingham Public Library, shared: “The Martin Luther King Jr., Lecture series is designed to encourage new approaches in the study of civil and human rights.” Baggett continued, “Our goal with the 2012 program is to motivate more people to tell the stories of the Civil Rights Movement and encourage writers of all ages to use the resources of the Archives of the Birmingham Public Library.”

In addition to participating on the panel, each author will present a program for youth at the several libraries.


Schedule for Birmingham Public Library activities for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Martin Luther King, Jr. Scavenger Hunt
January 3-January 13, 2012
All Birmingham Public Libraries

Youth are invited to visit any Birmingham Public Library January 3 through January 13, 2012 to participate in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Scavenger Hunt. Each participant who successfully completes the scavenger hunt may enter their names in a drawing for a free book about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Each library will draw three winners.

"Teach Your Children Well: Writing African American History for Young Readers" Lecture
Wednesday, January 18
12:00 p.m.
Central Library, Arrington Auditorium

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture, “Teach Your Children Well: Writing African American History for Young Readers,” features a panel of highly acclaimed authors of children’s books. Authors Larry Brimner, Evelyn Coleman, and Jo Kittinger will share insights on the creative process of writing for young readers.

“Teach Your Children Well: Writing African American History for Young Readers” Programs
January 17-19, 2012

Central Library
Larry Brimner, Wednesday, January 18 at 9:30 a.m.—Program focuses on the five-step writing process and will touch on mining for ideas, story development, research techniques, and/or any combination of these topics as he takes students through several titles from ideas to publication.

West End Branch Library
Jo Kittinger Thursday, January, 19 at 3:30 p.m—Program focuses on Civil Rights and the Power of Words. Kittinger will discuss the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the importance of speaking up for what is right.

Avondale, Springville Road, Smithfield, and North Avondale Libraries
Evelyn Coleman will appear at each of the listed libraries. Coleman will read and discuss her book, White Socks Only. She will talk about why she wrote the book and how important it is for us to embrace all people and speak up whenever we see something wrong. Her program will also include information on how to get ideas and the process of story development.

Avondale Regional Library, Tuesday, January 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Springville Road Regional Library, Wednesday, January 18 at 4:00 p.m.
Smithfield, Branch Library, Thursday, January, 19 at 10:00 a.m.
North Avondale Branch Library, Thursday, January 19 at 1:00 p.m.