My Selma : true stories of a Southern childhood at the height of the civil rights movement

by Brown, Willie Mae,

Format: Print Book 2023
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 4 copies
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Penn Hills Library Juvenile Non-Fiction CHILDREN 305.89 BRO
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Juvenile Non-Fiction
Call Number  CHILDREN 305.89 BRO
Unavailable (3)
Location Collection Status
Carnegie Library of Homestead Children Fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Carnegie Library of Homestead
Collection  Children Fiction
Coraopolis Memorial Library Juvenile Non-Fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Coraopolis Memorial Library
Collection  Juvenile Non-Fiction
Plum Community Library Juvenile Non-Fiction ON HOLDSHELF
Location  Plum Community Library
Collection  Juvenile Non-Fiction

Combining family stories of the everyday and the extraordinary as seen through the eyes of her twelve-year-old self, Willie Mae Brown gives readers an unforgettable portrayal of her coming of age in a town at the crossroads of history.

As the civil rights movement and the fight for voter rights unfold in Selma, Alabama, many things happen inside and outside the Brown family's home that do not have anything to do with the landmark 1965 march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Yet the famous outrages which unfold on that span form an inescapable backdrop in this collection of stories. In one, Willie Mae takes it upon herself to offer summer babysitting services to a glamorous single white mother--a secret she keeps from her parents that unravels with shocking results. In another, Willie Mae reluctantly joins her mother at a church rally, and is forever changed after hearing Martin Luther King Jr. deliver a defiant speech in spite of a court injunction.

Infused with the vernacular of her Southern upbringing, My Selma captures the voice and vision of a fascinating young person--perspicacious, impetuous, resourceful, and even mystical in her ways of seeing the world around her--who gifts us with a loving portrayal of her hometown while also delivering a no-holds-barred indictment of the time and place.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Brown's debut is a poignant collection of short stories that chronicles her upbringing in Selma, Ala., during the apex of the 1960s civil rights movement. The opening selection, "My Selma," depicts Brown's hometown as a beautiful place to grow up, populated by preachers, teachers, doctors, and candy store owners who make her life feel rich. Even so, Brown doesn't shy away from painting a picture of a town where "white men and white women rode through Negro neighborhoods in posses," terrorizing residents. Alongside this menacing element, Brown centers familial and community anecdotes, such as her family's buying a home and navigating what their passive-aggressive white neighbor Mr. Randall calls a "changing" neighborhood. White Selma residents' resistance to progress, and the civil rights movement taking place around them, grounds this intimate story in real-life events. By balancing personal struggles with racism with everyday joys of community, family, and resilience, Brown authentically imbues this clear-eyed tale with salient detail and historical resonance. As outlined in an introductory preface, Brown acknowledges that "everyone has his or her memories of a place and time when and where they lived," and that this depiction of Selma is one that she "knew and loved." Ages 10--14. (Jan.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Brown, Willie Mae -- Childhood and youth.
Brown, Willie Mae.
African American children -- Alabama -- Selma -- Juvenile literature.
African American children -- Alabama -- Selma -- Biography.
Civil rights movements -- Alabama -- Selma -- Juvenile literature.
African American children.
Civil rights movements.
Selma (Ala.) -- Juvenile literature.
Selma (Ala.)
Publisher New York :Farrar Straus Giroux,2023
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 229 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780374390235
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