Discover the true story of the woman Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. nicknamed "Red" because of her fiery spirit!
Mary Hamilton grew up knowing right from wrong. She was proud to be Black, and when the chance came along to join the Civil Rights Movement and become a Freedom Rider, she was eager to fight for what she believed in. Mary was arrested again and again—and she did not back down when faced with insults or disrespect. In an Alabama court, a white prosecutor called her by her first name, but she refused to answer unless he called her “Miss Hamilton.” The judge charged her with contempt of court, but that wasn’t the end of it. Miss Mary Hamilton fought the contempt charge all the way to the Supreme Court.
Powerful free verse from Carole Boston Weatherford and striking scratchboard illustrations by Jeffery Boston Weatherford, accompanied by archival photographs, honor this unsung heroine who took a stand for respect—and won.
In this stirring profile, the mother-son author-illustrator team center Mary Lucille Hamilton (1935 2002), a Black civil rights activist and educator whose 1964 Supreme Court case, Hamilton v. Alabama, ensured that people of color would be addressed by courtesy titles and last names in court, like their white counterparts. Carole Boston Weatherford provides unflinching narration of Hamilton's "fiery spirit" and nonviolent resistance: "Mary had news for that judge. She was not afraid to fight in court for what's right. With NAACP lawyers on her side, she fought the contempt charge all the way to the United States Supreme Court." Collages made of photographs and fine-lined sketches on scratchboard by Jeffery Boston Weatherford, combined with boldly graphical book design, give the picture book a cinematic quality, placing due emphasis on Miss Hamilton's landmark case. Back matter features a note on names, a timeline with photographs, and further reading. Ages 7 11.