iNK author, Amy Nathan, has a knack for finding stories of racial injustice that are local, relatable to kids, and make history come alive for them. In 1967, Keith Plessy was a fifth grader in New Orleans when the case bearing his surname came up in history class. Maybe he was related to Homer Plessy? "The answer to questions I was trying to get as a kid were not in that history book in school." All these years later, Amy Nathan has written the book that would have captivated Keith Plessy. It not only tells the story of an unjust law but also connects it to a time and place. It turns out that another child, Phoebe Ferguson, exactly the same age as Keith Plessy was a descendant of the judge who was the white party in Plessy V. Ferguson. When they eventually discovered each other together in their forties, they decided to attempt to right the wrongs that stemmed from Plessy v. Ferguson decision.
Together: An Inspiring Response to the "Separate-But-Equal" Supreme Court Decision that Divided America is a page-turning, very accessible account of the past and its impact. Keith Plessy and Phoebe Ferguson created a foundation to educate people who visit New Orleans with beautiful, well-written historic markers-- history-on-the-go for residents and tourists. One of Amy's earlier books, Round and Round Together: Taking a Merry-Go-Round Ride into the Civil Rights Movement, tells a Maryland story of the integration of an amusement park, and is now part of the curriculum of the schools where the event took place. Together is another book to wake up children in New Orleans and beyond.
When history is local and impactful, a well-told story like Together opens the portals of history to children who are numbed to its power by the flaccid text-book approach that destroys any spark to learn more.