Cover image for A ride to remember : a civil rights story
A ride to remember : a civil rights story
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm

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R.H. Stafford Library (Woodbury)1On Order
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The true story of how a ride on a carousel made a powerful Civil Rights statement

A Ride to Remember tells how a community came together--both black and white--to make a change. When Sharon Langley was born in the early 1960s, many amusement parks were segregated, and African-American families were not allowed entry. This book reveals how in the summer of 1963, due to demonstrations and public protests, the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Maryland became desegregated and opened to all for the first time. Co-author Sharon Langley was the first African-American child to ride the carousel. This was on the same day of Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Langley's ride to remember demonstrated the possibilities of King's dream. This book includes photos of Sharon on the carousel, authors' notes, a timeline, and a bibliography.

Author Notes

Sharon Langley became known around the country in 1963 as the first African-American to ride the carousel at Gwynn Oak Amusement Park. She lives in Los Angeles. Amy Nathan is an award-winning author. Her awards and honors include a Clarion Award and a Washington Post Book of the Week. She lives in Westchester County, New York. Floyd Cooper has won the Coretta Scott King Award and Honor multiple times. He was twice nominated for the NAACP Image Award and has received numerous other awards including the Bank Street College Book of the Year Honor. He lives in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1--4--As a young girl, Sharon Langley was forbidden to ride the carousel at Gwyn Oak Amusement Park in Baltimore because of her race. This picture book tells the story of how the park was desegregated in the summer of 1963. Following desegregation, the Langleys were the first African American family to walk into the park. Narrated in the first person, Langley's story is told with the wide-eyed enthusiasm of childhood. Her account is placed in the context of the civil rights movement by noting that August 28, 1963, was the day that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Today the carousel is located on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Illustrations rendered in muted colors fill the pages. VERDICT A solid addition to U.S. history collections for its subject matter and its first-person historical narrative.--Patricia Ann Owens, formerly at Illinois Eastern Community College, Mt. Carmel

Publisher's Weekly Review

Like many children, Sharon Langley took her first carousel ride supported by a parent's steadying hand. But Langley's August 1963 ride, a month before her first birthday, was also a landmark: the culmination of a sustained civil rights struggle to integrate the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Baltimore. Framed as a conversation between Langley and her parents, the story recalls the sustained efforts of people working together that made Langley's ride possible. The structure of the carousel itself becomes an unexpected metaphor: "Nobody first and nobody last, everyone equal, having fun together." Cooper's richly textured illustrations, made using oil erasure on illustration board, evoke sepia photographs' dreamlike combination of distance and immediacy, complementing the aura of reminiscence that permeates Langley and Nathan's narrative. Robust supplemental information includes a bibliography, timeline, a note from Langley, and information about the carousel, which is now situated at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Ages 6--9. (Jan.)

Kirkus Review

Sharon Langley became the first African American child to legally ride the carousel at Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Baltimore, Maryland, one month before her first birthday, in 1963.Her ride on the carousel followed a series of protests and the arrests of many, including children, who demanded the park integrate. The story is told through a conversational reminiscence between a school-age Sharon and her parents, interspersed with moments when Langley speaks to readers as an adult. The questions the little girl poses to her parents are those one would expect from a child grappling with injustice: "What about the Golden Rule? What about treating other people the way you want to be treated?" Her mother tenderly answers her innocent yet complicated questions with kindness and grace: "I guess some people forgot that the Golden Rule is supposed to include everyone." Braided into the story are mentions of the other children who participated in the protests for the integration of the park. Backmatter includes photographs and a note from Langley, a timeline, and updates about the people mentioned in the story. Cooper's grainy sepia and golden tones with bright bursts of color give the book a dreamy and nostalgic quality that fits well with the story.This book delivers a beautiful and tender message about equality from the very first page. (Picture book/memoir. 6-9) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

In 1963, segregation was still the norm in many public places, including the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Baltimore, Maryland. Author Langley narrates, recounting events from her childhood, when both Black and white people peacefully protested this injustice on July 4 and 7, 1963, resulting in negotiations that eventually opened the park to all on August 28, 1963. On opening day (the same day as Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington and I Have a Dream speech), Langley and her father were the first African Americans to legally enter Gwynn Oak, where Langley rode the carousel. The text is simple, direct, and heartfelt, offering readers a clear sense of the frustrations felt by African Americans leading up to these events. Cooper's signature oil erasure illustrations feature sepia tones and expressive faces that support and extend the poignant text. Appended with an extensive author's note (explaining, among other things, that the carousel still operates today on the National Mall), this is a moving tribute to a little-known civil rights event.--Kay Weisman Copyright 2019 Booklist