I am currently available to talk with classes and youth groups via Zoom. See below for subjects. For more information, or to set up a visit, please use the contact form.
BLACK MEN IN SCIENCE
Audience: Middle Grade
Using my collective biography, BLACK MEN IN SCIENCE, as a guide, students will learn about the importance of history in general, and the contributions of the subjects in the book in particular. Generally, the talk is broken up into three sections:
1. Why History Matters – How Researching and Writing About History Shapes Our Present and Future
I’ll talk about the importance of studying history. Using Black Men in Science is a guide, we’ll cover good (and not so good) resources for historical research. I’ll also talk about identifying key events in a figure’s life that can form the basis for a compelling biography. Lastly, we’ll discuss way to make historical figures story’s relevant to readers.
2. Black Men in Science – The Stories Behind Some of History’s Leaders in Science and How Their Lives Can Inspire Other
We’ll discuss how the book came to be and, using anecdotes from the book, explain the common threads (i.e. perseverance, creativity, and service) that tie these men together across two centuries.
3. Q&A or Writing Exercise
For the Writing Exercise, I ask the students to choose a historical figure. It can be someone from the book or another famous figure. Then, I ask them to write a short introduction to that person that demonstrates how that person’s life or accomplishments can inspire someone today. The goal is to help students realize that the lives of historical figures can still teach, inspire, and motivate us today.
MR. GRIZLEY’S CLASS
Audience: Kindergarten through 2nd Grade
Based on my new early chapter book series, MR. GRIZLEY’S CLASS, this visit is all about social emotional learning. We’ll discuss the students adventures from the first eight books of the series and talk about how they faced and overcame their obstacles. We can even use a little time to do the activities from the books.
Middle Grade Mysteries
Audience: Middle Grade
Based on my story, “The Magic Day Mystery”, which appears in SUPER PUZZLETASTIC MYSTERIES, we’ll have a discussion about mystery stories in general, and my story in particular. Using examples from the book, we’ll talk about getting ideas for a mystery and how a writer “solves” the mystery before (or during) the writing process. The students will even get to try their hand at writing, and solving, mysteries of their own.
THE FREEMAN FIELD PHOTOGRAPH
Join me for a reading and discussion of the THE FREEMAN FIELD PHOTOGRAPH, my picture book published by Clear Fork Publishing/Spork.
In THE FREEMAN FIELD PHOTOGRAPH, Sidney fears she may never see her Daddy again. Her father, a Tuskegee Airman, has been arrested for protesting segregation at Freeman Army Airfield. Proud, but sad, Sidney seeks one last photograph of her father, setting off to find the one man she believes can help. Set during the 1945 Freeman Field incident, this story encourages readers to stand up for themselves and for what they believe and shows how something small (like a photograph) can make a big difference.
The discussion will include my inspiration for the book (my grandfather, who took the now-famous Freeman Field photograph) and how everyone, no matter how young, can participate in seeking social justice.
The Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen
As the grandson of an original Tuskegee Airmen, I’m honored to share the history and contributions of America’s first black military aviators with students of all ages. Each talk is tailored to the age group or grade-level and highlights one or more of the following subject areas:
- The life and legacy of Charles Alfred “Chief” Anderson, the father of Black aviation and flight instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen
- The planes of the Tuskegee Airmen, from the Stearman Kaydet to the legendary P-51
- Famous Tuskegee Airmen, including Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., Daniel “Chappie” James, and Harold J. Beaulieu, Sr.
- The Double V Campaign, highlighting the fight for freedom abroad and at home
- The Freeman Field Mutiny, a significant moment in American history which led to the integration of the U.S. Armed Forces (also the subject of my upcoming picture book, THE FREEMAN FIELD PHOTOGRAPH coming April 2021)