Our national pastime by the name
Of baseball was once mired in shame.
A prejudice-sized fear
Whitewashed the truth when history wrote
An unforgivable footnote–
The asterisk career.
Tape-measuring his home-run success,
800 of ?em more or less,
Won’t get you very far.
Josh Gibson always knew the score?
Only to die three months before
The black man broke the bar.
He hit a mile the Jim Crow snub?
?No coloreds in a white man’s club.?
All anyone could do
Was name him to the Hall of Fame,
A tower in the tarnished game
That Gibson never knew.
–J. Patrick Lewis, all rights reserved
I almost hesitated to share this collection now, because I don’t want it to get relegated to only February! And?When Thunder Comes?is not just about black civil rights. Pat has poems about people in many countries and of various backgrounds who have fought for equality of all people. The poems and backmatter are powerful, and, as the flap copy says, they invite ?the reader to hear in them the thunder that lies in even the smallest voice.? This is a book that every school and library should own.
2) If you know students grades 3-8 who like writing, Kane Miller has a cool poetry contest going on. Check out my post from Wednesday about it.