Jacqueline Woodson was born in Columbus, Ohio but was raised in Greenville, South Carolina and Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of a number of books for children, young adults and adults. She has received numerous awards for her writing including a Coretta Scott King Award, an LA Times Book Prize both for Miracle's Boys and two Jane Addams Peace Awards. (Penguin Books) She was recently awarded the National Book Award for her memoir Brown Girl Dreaming.
"Raised in South Carolina and later in Brooklyn, New York, Woodson often felt halfway home in each place, and describes the reality of living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the civil rights movement." (Penguin Books)
We are excited to welcome Jacqueline Woodson to Charlotte Latin School!
In this poem, JW describes the world she was born into by referring to historic people and events. One of these events is the March on Washington; a demonstration by over 200,000 people led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to protest civil rights violations.
To learn more about the March on Washington click here. (password is latinhawks)
In these poems JW recalls being follwed around stores because she was African American. Racial profiling is the practice of singling out people by race or ethnicity for suspicion or arrest, affects people of color almost exclusively. It is based on the assumption that certain individuals, usually of a particular race, religion, or ethnic group, are more likely than others to commit crimes.
"Racial Profiling." Gale Student Resources in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2014. Student Resources in Context. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.
These are a few of the poems that touch on how different life was in Brooklyn for Jacqueline and her family.
image courtesy of creative commons
In this poem, JW describes how her mother participated in sit-ins. Lunch counter sit-ins were peaceful demonstrations by African Americans who were asserting their right to sit in public businesses and order a meal.
To learn more about sit-ins click here. (password is latinhawks)
Jacqueline Woodson's younger brother, Roman, eats the paint that is peeling from the walls in his bedroom which results in brain damage.
occurs when a person swallows lead or breathes in its fumes. The result can be damage to the brain, nerves, and many other parts of the body. Acute occurs when a person takes in a large amount of lead over a short period of time. Acute is rare. Chronic occurs when small amounts of lead are taken in over a longer period. Chronic is a common problem among children.
"Lead Poisoning." Sick! Detroit: UXL, 2007. Student Resources in Context. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.
The sit-ins protestors all around the South were treated very harshly. They were screamed at, spit on, had food poured on them, and were beaten. The protestors were determined to stay non-violent, and they had to complete intense training so they could remain non-violent in the face of this abuse.
In the training, JW discusses her mother and her cousin going to this training.
...although continued during the 1960s, it was not until the 1970s that it started attracting public attention as a serious social problem. The visibility of steadily increased as artists started using spray paint to cover larger areas more colorfully than was previously possible. One of the first artists to achieve notoriety was a tagger, or name writer, whose signature "Taki 183" began appearing on walls in all five boroughs of New York in 1971. Taki was followed by a hoard of fellow taggers, and by the mid-1970s the primary target of artists hungry for name recognition had become the trains of the New York City subway system...
Deborah Broderson. "Graffiti." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Detroit: Gale, 2015. Student Resources in Context. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.
image courtesy of creative commons
In this poem, Jacqueline Woodson remembers her grandmother taking her to the back of the bus to sit.
In 1875, Congress had passed a Civil Rights Act guaranteeing African Americans access to public facilities. When some minor efforts were made to enforce the act, southern state legislatures reacted by creating an entire legal system to separate the races in every aspect of daily life. The result was a web of public policies and practices—the “Jim Crow laws”—that relegated persons of color to second-class status.
"Jim Crow Laws." UXL Encyclopedia of U.S. History. Sonia Benson, Daniel E. Brannen, Jr., and Rebecca Valentine. Vol. 4. Detroit: UXL, 2009. 829-831. Student Resources in Context. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.