July 2022's Book of the Month explores untold American history
Independence Day is a good opportunity to learn a bit more about American history. For July's Book of the Month series with the Milwaukee Public Library, librarian Connor Bowman recommends A Worthy Piece of Work: The Untold Story of Madeline Morgan and the Fight for Black History in Schools by Michael Hines.
The book highlights the role Black women educators played in building Black history curriculum around World War II. Around that time, the United States was looking to create intercultural understanding, and at the same time, there was a rise in the Black history movement led by Carter G. Woodson.
"Madeline Morgan wrote the supplemental units for the course of instruction in social studies. And she became a huge success. And it was implemented into the Chicago Public Schools. And she was a national and international star educator," Bowman shares. He's a librarian in with the Milwaukee Public Library's special collections and archives department.
However, it was short-lived due to racial tension post-war. "And so while it was a huge success, it died off early, which is why Michael Heinz wanted to write this story," he says.
When learning about Morgans' work and legacy, Bowman reflected on the importance of questioning history: "And for me, it highlights the importance of questioning that dominant history that we're presented with in schools. And I think with history, it's just so complicated, and there's a lot of voices that we need to listen to."
If you're interested in learning more about local history, he recommends checking out the Frank P. Zeidler Humanities Room at the central branch.
Every month in partnership with the Milwaukee Public Library, Lake Effect highlights a librarian who shares their book recommendation.