Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature Best Books of the Year — 2022 — Winner
Discover the true story of the woman Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. nicknamed "Red" because of her fiery spirit!
Mary Hamilton grew up knowing right from wrong. She was proud to be Black, and when the chance came along to join the Civil Rights Movement and become a Freedom Rider, she was eager to fight for what she believed in. Mary was arrested again and again—and she did not back down when faced with insults or disrespect. In an Alabama court, a white prosecutor called her by her first name, but she refused to answer unless he called her “Miss Hamilton.” The judge charged her with contempt of court, but that wasn’t the end of it. Miss Mary Hamilton fought the contempt charge all the way to the Supreme Court.
Powerful free verse from Carole Boston Weatherford and striking scratchboard illustrations by Jeffery Boston Weatherford, accompanied by archival photographs, honor this unsung heroine who took a stand for respect—and won.
"Weatherford introduces young readers to this lesser-known changemaker who challenged the court system for due respect. . . . Lending to this powerful story is mixed-media artwork that blends expressive black-and-white scratchboard illustrations with tinted photos from the time period."—starred, Booklist
"[A]n excellent introduction of the Civil Rights Movement for young readers."—Children's Literature
"[L]arge, striking scratchboard and collage illustrations, which often incorporate archival photographs, complement the clear narrative."—The Horn Book Magazine
"Essential reading for teaching children about the importance of demanding equality and respect."—Kirkus Reviews
"Hamilton's inspiring story has not been the focus of any other book, and for that fact alone it is deserving of shelf space. This evocative and informative story of an unsung heroine is recommended for general purchase."—School Library Journal
"Carole Boston Weatherford provides unflinching narration . . . Collages made of photographs and fine-lined sketches on scratchboard by Jeffery Boston Weatherford, combined with boldly graphical book design, give the picture book a cinematic quality, placing due emphasis on Miss Hamilton's landmark case."—Publishers Weekly
Jeffery Boston Weatherford is an award-winning illustrator, poet, and founder of the global hip hop collective Triiibe Worldwide. Jeffery earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Howard University where he was a Romare Bearden Scholar. As a teaching artist for the National Book Foundation, he has lectured, performed and conducted workshops in the U.S., Africa, and the Middle East. His illustrated titles include You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen, Africa, A Bat Cave: an Abecedarian Bedtime Chronicle, and Call Me Miss Hamilton. He lives and works in Maryland.