Thursday, November 10, 2016

Steamboat School by Deborah Hopkinson; illustrated by Ron Husband

Based on a true story, this is a must-read for anyone set on fathoming the depth of racism in this country. St. Louis’ Reverend John Meachum (1789-1854) led a school for people of color, but in 1847 Missouri passed this law: “Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Missouri, as follows: No person shall keep any school for the instruction of Negroes or mulattoes, reading or writing, in this State.”

Rev. Meachum’s response was a Steamboat School in the middle of the Mississippi River, which was considered federal property, where children were rowed to and taught be Meachum until his death in 1855.

The Meachum home was declared a depot on the Underground Railroad and became “the first site in Missouri to be recognized as part of the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.”

No comments: