Civil rights icon, Ambassador Andrew Young and his daughter, Paula Young Shelton, deliver a powerful oral history about a special day in Andrew’s childhood that changed him forever. This story of race relations in the 1930s South is illustrated by bestselling Caldecott Honor winner Gordon C. James.
As a boy, Andrew Young learned a vital lesson from his parents when a local chapter of the Nazi party instigated racial unrest in their hometown of New Orleans in the 1930s. While Hitler's teachings promoted White supremacy, Andrew's father, told him that when dealing with the sickness of racism, "Don't get mad, get smart." To drive home this idea, Andrew Young Senior took his family to the local movie house to see a newsreel of track star Jesse Owens racing toward Olympic gold, showing the world that the best way to promote equality is to focus on the finish line. The teaching of his parents, and Jesse Owens' example, would be the guiding principles that shaped Andrew's beliefs in nonviolence and built his foundation as a civil rights leader and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The story is vividly recalled by Paula Young Shelton, Andrew's daughter.
Gordon C. James is the award-winning illustrator of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, written by Derrick Barnes, for which Gordon received a Caldecott Honor medal, the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award, and an Ezra Jack Keats Honor award, among others. He is the illustrator of the New York Times bestseller I Am Every Good Thing, also written by Derrick Barnes, and winner of a Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards Honor. Gordon is also the illustrator of the multi-award-winning Let ‘Er Buck! George Fletcher, the People’s Champion written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. To learn more, please visit: https://www.gordoncjames.com/
Andrew Young is an American legend, who was a close friend and advisor of Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1972, when he was elected to Congress in Atlanta, Georgia, he was the first African American representative from the deep South since Reconstruction to hold such a position. President Jimmy Carter appointed Andrew Young as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, where Young promoted human rights around the world. He was the first African American to hold the position. Ambassador Young served two terms as mayor of Atlanta. Sixty years after he saw Jesse Owens win Olympic gold, he worked with the Black and White leadership of the city to bring the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games to Atlanta. He continues to build global equality through the Andrew J. Young Foundation, which supports and promotes education, leadership, and human rights in the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean. He lives in Atlanta, GA.
Paula Young Shelton is an early childhood educator with nearly thirty years of experience teaching young children. She is the author of the acclaimed children's book Child of the Civil Rights Movement, illustrated by Raúl Colón, a Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the Year. She is a graduate of Duke University and holds a master’s degree in Education from Bank Street College. Paula is married with three sons, and lives in Washington DC.