Every famous person was once a child who, in some cases, overcame great obstacles to achieve success. That’s the enduring lesson of That They Lived, which features the biographies and photographs of famous African Americans. 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 to raise enough money for college. At the age of seven, Duke Ellington preferred playing baseball to attending piano lessons. Written for young readers, this is a book that will also charm and inspire their parents.
Rochelle Riley spent nearly 25 years as an award-winning Detroit Free Press columnist before leaving in 2019 to serve as the Director of Arts and Culture for the city of Detroit. She is the author of four other books, including The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery.