Pages Bookshop Virtually Presents Rochelle Riley

We are thrilled to have author Rochelle Riley back at Pages virtually for her latest book "That They Lived" a book that fills in gaps in the history that American children have been taught for generations. For African American children, it will prove that they are more than descendants of the enslaved. For all children, it is a book that shows that every child can achieve great things and work together to make the world a better place for all.

You can register for the event here.

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About That They Lived

In February 2017, Rochelle Riley was reading Twitter posts and came across a series of black-and-white photos of four-year-old Lola dressed up as different African American women who had made history. Rochelle was immediately smitten. She was so proud to see this little girl so powerfully honor the struggle and achievement of women several decades her senior. Rochelle reached out to Lola's mom, Cristi Smith-Jones, and asked to pair her writing with Smith-Jones's incredible photographs for a book. The goal? To teach children on the cusp of puberty that they could be anything they aspired to be, that every famous person was once a child who, in some cases, overcame great obstacles to achieve.

That They Lived: African Americans Who Changed the World features Riley's grandson, Caleb, and Lola photographed in timeless black and white, dressed as important individuals such as business owners, educators, civil rights leaders, and artists, alongside detailed biographies that begin with the figures as young children who had the same ambitions, fears, strengths, and obstacles facing them that readers today may still experience. Muhmmad Ali's bike was stolen when he was twelve years old and the police officer he reported the crime to suggested he learn how to fight before he caught up with the thief. Bessie Coleman, the first African American female aviator, collected and washed her neighbors' dirty laundry so she could raise enough money for college. When Duke Ellington was seven years old, he preferred playing baseball to attending the piano lessons his mom had arranged.

That They Lived was made possible through a grant provided by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

ROCHELLE RILEY is Director of Arts and Culture for the city of Detroit. The author, essayist, and arts advocate ended a nearly twenty-year stint in 2019 as a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, where she was an award-winning voice for children and advocate for improved education, government, and race relations. She is editor of The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery (Wayne State University Press, 2018). She calls herself "a writer by trade, warrior by necessity." 

Event date: 
Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
MI
That They Lived: African Americans Who Changed the World (Painted Turtle) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780814347546
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wayne State University Press - February 2nd, 2021