Desert Rose: The Life and Legacy of Coretta Scott King

After seeing the photograph of the lapel pins in my post, Where Is The Love? Reflections on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I received a few texts and emails asking about the one of Coretta Scott King (1927-2006) that says Desert Rose. I am re-printing, here, a review I wrote in 2012 of the book,…

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Where Is The Love? Reflections On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

When we were children in the 1960s and 1970s, family who had migrated to cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, and Indianapolis made annual car-caravan trips on the U.S. interstate to visit Alabama where our adult relatives had been born. For the kids it was an adventure riding in the backseats of recent model cars—-manufactured in…

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#Throwback Thursday: Upside Down Tapestry Mosaic History

Happy New Year to folklore & literacy readers old and new! Recently I’ve been going through my personal archives and found the first manuscript of original poetry (along with my original cover art) that I ever put together. When Broadside Press expressed interest in publishing my book, I decided to call it Upside Down Tapestry…

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Legacy & Social Justice Educator: Nevada Montgomery

“I ask you. What will your legacy be? Will it be the fact that you helped somebody along the way, during the time while you were here on earth? What will your legacy be? Will it be similar to the legacies left to our generation by people like Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, John…

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Literacy Feature: Laura Tilsner and Working In The Schools (WITS)

In my years as a proponent of literacy and creative self-expression through writing and the arts, I’ve learned a lot and been inspired by a world of energizing, insightful, and creative students, teachers, administrators, and collaborating artists. Some organizations I have worked and/or volunteered with include Working In the Schools (or WITS), Literacy Chicago, and…

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A House of My Own, Stories From Sandra Cisneros’s Life

Sandra Cisneros’s writing is honest and poetic, and lacks the self-consciousness of someone aspiring to be erudite. I mention this because I think for someone who is multi-lingual, who has read a lot, and lived and traveled around the world; who graduated from a prestigious writing program, and has been lauded with the prestigious MacArthur…

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Memory of First Reads

Note from Leslie: Clicking on colored text will allow you to discover more about that item! One of my early memories is of receiving books in the mail beginning the year prior to entering kindergarten. I’m not sure if there were pre-school programs back in those days. My family—-including parents, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, and older…

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How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson

Earlier this week I was immersed in sharing poetry, movement, and collaborative creative expression with second graders at Carstens Elementary-Middle School in Detroit. As I began to write about it on the train ride home, I was reminded of Marilyn Nelson’s book, How I Discovered Poetry. While her volumes of poetry are usually found in…

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