So glad I worked my way around to reading this. It's a valuable connection to the long history of attitudes that still linger among Friends.
I took inSo glad I worked my way around to reading this. It's a valuable connection to the long history of attitudes that still linger among Friends.
I took inspiration, as well, from Sarah's long history as a mostly-single, incredibly active change agent in her city. I particularly loved her poem written when she was older than I am: "'Tis past meridian, but still bright/and lacks some hours to sunset yet;/At fifty four/Be strong and true;/Scour off thy rust and shine anew...Keep thy locks wet with morning dew and freely let thy grace flow..."
As a member of a Philadelphia Meeting, it was also a pleasure to "meet" not only Sarah herself but the person behind the White Richardson Trust, a fund in our community that still makes a small but meaningful difference today.
I had some small quibbles with the booklet; first were multiple typographical errors (I wish they'd snagged me to proofread!). Also, as a Philadelphia Friend, I would have liked the narrative to have taken a moment to relate Sarah's story to the context of the Orthodox/Hicksite schism among Friends. I found it curious and a little disappointing that I found no reference to whether Sarah Mapps Douglass had any contact with Lucretia Mott, given (a) the overlapping timeframe and (b) the fact that Margaret Hope Bacon was the author of the Mott biography Valiant Friend as well of as this pamphlet. Perhaps the fact that they fell on opposite sides of the schism was the reason for limited contact, but surely they moved in some of the same abolitionist circles...
In any case, this is a quick, worthwhile introduction to Douglass' life. I'm spurred to read the stories of others connected with her as well (the Grimkes, the Forten/Purvis households, William Lloyd Garrison and more)....more
I loved the dialogue throughout--the author has an ear for natural interactions--and some exchanges were quite poignant. The reason I didn't rate theI loved the dialogue throughout--the author has an ear for natural interactions--and some exchanges were quite poignant. The reason I didn't rate the book higher was that the pace felt rushed to me--the situation had too fast a resolution; I wanted more time for Cole to grow, get to know his father better, etc. before the grand finale. Definitely a worthwhile story, though--and the illustrations, warmly depicting folks that live in Philadelphia, were a plus....more
Fast-paced trip through the perspective of eight narrators--seven students and a teacher--through the supposedly benign tradition of "Slave Day," a fuFast-paced trip through the perspective of eight narrators--seven students and a teacher--through the supposedly benign tradition of "Slave Day," a fundraiser at a public school in the South. A protester of the entire concept winds up "buying" the student council president to make his point; a girlfriend "purchased" by her boyfriend gets insights into their everyday dynamics; tired and bitter "Mr. History" is chosen by an aspiring actor (and flunking student)...
The book shows its 1990s publishing date through the technology shown, yet ultimately feels (sadly) like it could take place today without much adjustment in social attitudes around matters of race and gender....more