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This illustrated short biography shares the story of Mamie Till-Mobley, mother of Emmitt Till, whose bravery in the face of unspeakable grief helped ignite the civil rights movement. When Mamie was a girl, her parents moved from Mississippi to Chicago seeking a better life. In Chicago Mamie felt safer, and she worked hard as a single mother to protect her son Emmitt. When Emmitt wanted to visit family back in Mississippi, Mamie acquiesced in spite of her quiet concern. One week later, a bewildering phone call confirmed her worst fears – Emmitt was beaten to death by white men seeking vigilante justice for an unfounded crime. Sitting in the fire of her grief, Mamie made a brave choice – she exhibited her son’s battered body for the community to see. Photos of Emmitt spread by the media brought widespread attention to civil rights violations in the American south. But Mamie’s story doesn’t end there - she was a leader in the civil rights movement and returned to school to become a teacher. Evocative poetry propels the story forward, picking up speed and intensity along the way, holding steady until the end when it gently reminds readers this story is not over yet. Striking papercut illustrations boldly emphasize the powerful words.
Angela Joy was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Before graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota, she attended New York University and Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia—where her heart will forever reside. Her first picture book was Black Is A Rainbow Color.
Janelle Washington is a self-taught paper cut artist from Virginia. She has permanent silhouettes housed at the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, DC, and Downing-Gross Community Arts Center in Newport News, Virginia. Choosing Brave is her first picture book.