Civil Rights should not be two words we only use to describe a moment in history. Civil Rights are ever changing to meet the needs of those who are not receiving fair and just treatment.
Resist thoughts of being too young or unimportant to have a voice for change.
When each person takes personal responsibility for practicing peace, love, fair treatment and compassion, they are contributing to societal change by becoming one of many.
These are a few books to spark conversations about civil rights around the world.
Margarita Engle tells the story of Antonio Chuffat, a young man of African, Chinese, and Cuban descent who becomes a champion for civil rights.
Asia, Africa, Europe—Antonio Chuffat’s ancestors clashed and blended on the beautiful island of Cuba. Yet for most Cubans in the nineteenth century, life is anything but beautiful. The country is fighting for freedom from Spain. Enslaved Africans and near-enslaved Chinese indentured servants are forced to work long, backbreaking hours in the fields.
So Antonio feels lucky to have found a good job as a messenger, where his richly blended cultural background is an asset. Through his work he meets Wing, a young Chinese fruit seller who barely escaped the anti-Asian riots in San Francisco, and his sister Fan, a talented singer. With injustice all around them, the three friends are determined to prove that violence is not the only way to gain liberty.
Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a “Whites only” school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.
This around-the-world tour introduces readers to children who have taken on the role of social activist, fighting for human rights and social justice in countries as diverse as Yemen and Congo, Canada and the United States. Ten children receive main profiles, and over a dozen others are featured in smaller sidebars. Anita Khushwaha fought against gender and class bias in her community in India. Emman Bagual founded Mind Your Rights to fight child labor in the Philippines. Zach Bonner walked 1,000 miles to raise awareness about homeless children in the United States. A diverse range of other issues is covered, including aboriginal rights, human trafficking and child soldiers, and the full United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child can be found alongside tips for how kids everywhere can make a difference.