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Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round: My Story of the Making of Martin Luther King Day

Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round: My Story of the Making of Martin Luther King Day

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Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round: My Story of the Making of Martin Luther King Day

124 страницы
37 минут
4 янв. 2022 г.


This brilliant memoir-in-verse tells the moving story of how a nation learned to celebrate a hero. Through years of protests and petition, Kathlyn's story highlights the foot soldiers who fought to make Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a national holiday.

Aint Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round is a deeply moving middle grade memoir about what it means to be an everyday activist and foot solider for racial justice, as Kathlyn recounts how, drawn to activism from childhood, she went from attending protests as a teenager to fighting for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday to become a national holiday as an adult. A blueprint for kids starting down their own paths to civic awareness, it shows life beyond protests and details the sustained time, passion, and energy it takes to turn an idea into a law.

Deftly weaving together monumental historical events with a heartfelt coming-of-age story and in-depth information on law making, Aint Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round is the perfect engaging example of how history can help inform the present. 
4 янв. 2022 г.

Об авторе

Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Kathlyn J Kirkwood is the author of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round: the Story of an Everyday Activist and the Making of the Martin Luther King Holiday. A retired college professor, Kathlyn focuses on writing for children and volunteering with under-priveleged 3rd and 4th grade students in the Nashville area. She has developed several innovative workshops that use trade books to help young people learn about the world beyond their immediate surroundings, and to inspire them with a love of reading.

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Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round - Kathlyn J. Kirkwood


In memory of my mom and dad,

Mrs. Texana and Mr. Mack C. Wiggins,

who led by example—who showed me how to be

For all the nameless and faceless foot soldiers

past, present, and future


We ain’t going back, we’ve come too far, marched too long, prayed too hard, wept too bitterly, bled too profusely, and died too young to let anybody turn back the clock on our journey for justice.

—REVEREND JOSEPH LOWERY, Dean of the Civil Rights Movement



Title Page





While We Stepped

February 12, 1968

March 18, 1968

March 28, 1968

Outside Agitators Caused a Riot

April 3, 1968

April 4, 1968

Breaking News

Around the World

April 8, 1968

Who Would Lead Us Now?

Millions of Americans Wanted a King Holiday

In the Meantime

May 2, 1968

It Didn’t Matter

August 1968


Not Me


After Ten Years

September 1980

October 31, 1980

My Life Was Full

January 15, 1981

Nine Days Later

Decked Out in Fur Coat and Pearls

The Silver Lining

Stevie Toured on

February 23, 1982


Next Up: The Senate

October 19, 1983

January 1986

Through Years of Talk, Talk, Talk

Author’s Note



How a Bill Becomes a Law


Source Notes

About the Author


About the Publisher


For so many of us, so much of the past is a vague memory. A dry paragraph in a history book about some people somewhere marching. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—a mountaintop speech—if that’s remembered. Or more often, a holiday. Selma—a movie. Jim Crow—a thing that happened to some people somewhere a long time ago. Once, while doing a school visit, a fifth-grader asked me if I had been born a slave. And other questions from the mouths of otherwise brilliant young people—What’s a Ku Klux Klan? and I think Moses burned a cross on the mountaintop and How come Black people are still so mad? They got equality already.

When we forget our past, it’s hard to understand our present. Harder still to imagine our future. Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ’Round is a love song to the past by someone who was there. Kathlyn Kirkwood tells her story with warmth, love, and keen memory.

The past wasn’t always pretty. It wasn’t always kind. It was never easy. But it is the shoulders we stand on now. As we continue to fight toward a world where all people have the same civil rights, we can open this book, dive into the narrative in verse, and step into a movement that would forever change America. We can meet the people who were a part of that movement. We can grow to love them and begin to understand our connection not only to the past, but to the people who resisted and fought for the rights we have today.

Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ’Round—a title coming from the African American civil rights song from the early twentieth century—is just as relevant

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