Saturday, November 14, 2015

Oprah Winfrey’s miniseries Tulsa Riot of 1921

Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable network is developing stages a mini-series documenting one of the ugliest and least known chapters in United States history. Oprah is re-telling the story of the "Tulsa Riot of 1921".

It was once known as "Black Wall Street”. Some of America's most prominent lived in Tulsa, just north of downtown. There were black owned grocery store, clothing stores, theaters and restaurants, but with a few minutes, it was all destroyed.

The growth of the oil industry made Tulsa, Oklahoma a rich town by 1921. Its predominantly black section, Greenwood, achieved a level of wealth that earned its name as the "Negro Wall Street of America."  African Americans comprised about 12 % of the overall population. Whites’ responded violently to the accomplishment of African Americans began organizing "whipping parties" that arbitrarily assaulted blacks on a daily basis.

Tulsa Riot of 1921,that devastated some 40 city blocks in the mostly-black Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

There had also been several lynching in the vicinity of Tulsa, a major Ku Klux Klan hub, and blacks armed themselves for protection. The riot of 1921 was the culmination of these racial tensions.

In 1921, a 19 year old black man named Dick Rowland took a break from his downtown job as a shoe shiner to use the restroom at the top of a nearby building. Sarah Page, a 17 year old white girl who was operating the elevator there, claimed that Rowland assaulted her. Rowland was arrested the following day and incarcerated at the local courthouse.

Before the incident had been investigated, the May 31 Tulsa Tribune reported that Rowland, who was identified only by his color, "attacked Page, scratching her hands and face, and tearing her clothes off." That evening, a crowd of whites began to gather outside the courthouse in response to the paper's assertion that Rowland was going to be lynched.

The sheriff tried unsuccessfully to disperse the crowd, which by 10:30 PM had grown to nearly 2000. A group of 50 to 75 armed black men, who previously had been turned away, returned to the courthouse to help the sheriff defend Rowland. 

One of the white men tried to disarm one of the blacks, a shot was fired, and the two groups opened fire. Vastly outnumbered, the blacks retreated to Greenwood.  

Records kept by the Red Cross estimate that "1115 houses and businesses
belonging to black people had been burned down, and that another 314 had been looted".

Sarah Page refused to prosecute Dick Rowland: follow-up investigation found that Rowland had stumbled into the girl as he was getting off the elevator, and all charges were dropped.

What’s so unbelievable with the Tulsa Riot of 1921 is that all these people lost their life and all those business and homes that were destroyed based on a LIEMr.Philly Librarian


  • Scott Ellsworth, Death in a Promised Land: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1982).
  • John Hope Franklin and Scott Ellsworth, eds., The Tulsa Race Riot: A Scientific, Historical and Legal Analysis (Oklahoma City: Tulsa Race Riot Commission, 2000).
  • Eddie Faye Gates, They Came Searching: How Blacks Sought the Promised Land in Tulsa (Austin, Tex.: Eakin Press, 1997).
  • Loren L. Gill, "The Tulsa Race Riot" (M.A. thesis, University of Tulsa, 1946).
  • Robert N. Hower, "Angels of Mercy": The American Red Cross and the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot (Tulsa, Okla.: Homestead Press, 1993).
  • Mary E. Jones Parrish, Events of the Tulsa Disaster (Tulsa, Okla.: Out on a Limb Publishing, 1998).

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

‘Beasts of No Nation,’ a Brutal Tale of Child Soldiers in Africa

Uzodinma, Iweala(2006) Beasts of No Nation. Paperback | Harper Perennial | ISBN: 978-0060798688 | $12.59 | 176 Pages

A Beast of No Nation is a socially conscious film based on the 2006 book by Nigerian-American author Uzodinma Iweala who writes about children who were snatched away from their families to fight as mercenaries. In war-torn West Africa, nine year-old Agu (14 yrs. Old Abraham Attah) escapes the slaughter of his family, only to become the protégé of a rebel leader (Idris Elba) who schools him in the brutal ways of the rebel militia.
This excellent movie will definitely receive Oscar awards consideration in the upcoming year.  Peter Travers from the Rolling Stone quote “Hard to watch, impossible to forget” was the best response that I found to describe this movie. Check it out on Netflix’s.  MrPhillyLibrarian

Bibliography on Children Soldiers theme Books


  • Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2008).
  • Bok, Francis. Escape from Slavery: The True Story of My Ten Years in Captivity and My Journey to Freedom in America (St. Martin's Griffin, 2004).
  • Brett, Rachel and Irma Specht. Young Soldiers: Why they Choose to Fight (Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., 2004).
  • Briggs, Jimmie. Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go to War (Basic Books, 2005).
  • Dallaire, Romeo. They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers (Random House, 2010).
  • Denov, Myriam. Child Soldiers: Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front (Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  • Eichstaedt, Peter. First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army (Lawrence Hill Books, 2009).
  • Gates, Scott and Simon Reich. Child Soldiers in the Age of Fractured States (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009).
  • Honwama, Alcinda. Child Soldiers in Africa (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007).
  • Jal, Emmanuel. War Child: A Child Soldier's Story (St. Martin's Griffin, 2010).
  • Kahn, Leora. Child Solders (PowerHouse Books, 2008).
  • London, Charles. One Day the Soldiers Came: Voices of Children in War (Harper Perennial, 2007).
  • McDonnell, Faith. Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda's Children (Chosen Books, 2007).
  • Rosen, David M. Armies of the Young: Child Soldiers in War and Terrorism (Rutgers University Press, 2005).
  • Singer, P.W. Children at War (University of California Press, 2006).
  • Wessells, Michael. Child Soldiers: From Violence to Protection (Harvard University Press, 2009).


Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Ana’s Playground (2009)

Blood Diamond (2006)

War Dance (2006)

Invisible Children (2003)

Children in War (2000)


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Stilettos in the Sun

Harvey, Nadel (2013) Stilettos in the Sun. Paperback | Nader Harvey Press | ISBN: 978 -0-991-84009 | $12.89 | 344 Pages

Stilettos in the Sun is the story of Roberto Davila, a young engineer-mathematician from Panama. As a boy, his parents send him to live with an uncle and his family in Philadelphia. He is full of trepidation, having never lived outside his hometown, Colon. He spends his days musing over happier times, writing poems and songs as a way to assuage his longing.

If his accent and his being handsome are not enough to make the boys dislike him, he is a diligent student and excels in his studies. He finds that while one can be as smart as he wants in the classroom, he still has the labyrinth of dangerous streets to negotiate.

The story soon moves to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where Roberto is a college student. The story takes twists with the romances he has, one of which is with Euridice, a beautiful and bright Venezuelan woman. They study and live together, until graduation, when she returns to Venezuela with her parents, who discourage any further association with Roberto, as he is too dark, notwithstanding his achievements and ambition.

Roberto throws himself into his studies, continuing through to his PhD in mathematics. Another short-lived relationship, with Isabel, ends with her death. Back in Philadelphia for a visit, he once again meets Yolanda, with whom he has had an on-again, off-again relationship. They rekindle the romance.

But back in Baton Rouge, he falls for another woman. Then, on assignment in Kazakhstan, he meets a Turkish professor and is smitten by her in every way. They make arrangements to meet in Istanbul. In Kazakhstan, he meets several other women who bring to light the ambivalence he harbors: He cannot make up his mind. This confluence of females leaves him in a quandary. He travels to Istanbul, having decided on Sarah, the history professor. But once there he discovers that Sarah has promised to marry an Argentinean doctor.This book is a great Read, check it out! Mr.Philly Librarian

Friday, September 4, 2015

Slugg: A Boy's Life in The Age of Mass Incarceration

Lewis,Tony Jr. & Reeves,K.L. (2015) Slugg: A Boy's Life in the Age of Mass Incarceration. Paperback | Hanover Place Press |
ISBN: 978-0-692-43157-3 | $9.99  |257 Pages

Slugg: A Boy's Life in the Age of Mass Incarceration is a blueprint for survival and a demonstration of the power of love, sacrifice, and service. The son of a Kingpin and the prince of a close-knit crime family, Tony Lewis Jr.'s life took a dramatic turn after his father's arrest in 1989. Washington D.C. stood as the murder capital of the country and Lewis was cast into the heart of the struggle, from a life of stability and riches to one of chaos and poverty. How does one make it in America, battling the breakdown of families, the plague of premature death and the hopelessness of being reviled, isolated, and forgotten? Tony Lewis' astonishing journey answers these questions and offers, for the first time, a close look at the familial residue of America's historic program of mass incarceration – From the back cover of the book

"Tony Lewis Jr could have easily taken up the life of crime by being the son of a Washington D.C. Drug kingpin who is in prison for life, but he decided otherwise. Tony Jr. has travel on the highway many days & nights to visits different family member that  are incarcerated in State or Federal prison but, he was determine not to become a statistic of the jail system!" This book is a MUST Read! Mr.Philly Librarian

Monday, June 29, 2015

Philadelphia Urban League Leadership Forum

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.   
John C. Maxwell

Multiculturalism & Diversity Team 2015

Clifford Xantus, Antony House, Jose Romos, Marvin DeBose, Lin Qiong, Jose Nicot, Lisa P. Batipp (not in picture)

Philly Urban League Leadership Forum
@Youth Summit 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015

"Journey To Manhood" Panel Discussion

I would like to thank you for supporting my “Journey to Manhood” program at Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library last Saturday June, 20, 2015. The program was great; we had a fruitful panel discussion opening up the dialogue with the young men in our community on how to become successful, productive men.  We had approximately 37 people in attendance at the program from all spectrums of life, such as teachers, police officers, business owners and of course librarians. With the help of our sponsors, we had the opportunity to raffle off a bike as well as 20 Whole Food gift cards. There is such a great buzz going around on the social media outlets we are now in the process of planning our next event. (Attached pictures courtesy of )  #TeamWest

Journey To Manhood Discussion Group

Monday, May 11, 2015

Author Event Featuring - Vanessa M. Kirby

Kirby, Vanessa M.(2013) Heroin Heartbreak, Paperback  | Nu Class Publication  |
 ISBN- 13:9780989134217 | $10.06 | 211 Pages

Vanessa M. Kirby’s visit at Haverford Branch Library was awesome, in front of a crowd of 60 middle school students and adults. I was very impressed with Vanessa’s demeanor, book talking skills, and how she engaged with this audience that showed up for this book discussion. Vanessa’s book “Heroin Heartbreak” is an excellent cautionary tale, that base on a true story that must be told!!

For years, 18-year-old Ashley Kennedy has suffered in silence from the demons that taunted her. Devastation doesn't adequately describe the roller coaster ride that she calls ‘life’. Partying and drugs was the only way Ashley knew how to cope with her horrific past, but things only go from bad to worse as the skeletons fall from the closet Ashley has finally unlocked. Life for the Kennedy family may never be the same after Ashley revisits her past and is forced to pay a costly price. 

Based on a true story, this heart-wrenching tale will open the eyes of parents' everywhere, while giving teens a wakeup call to the dangers lurking in the shadows.

 Vanessa M. Kirby (Author) & Marvin DeBose Sr. (Branch Manager @ Haverford Library)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Greater St. Matthew Independent Church - Reading Program Kick Off

Reading Appreciation Ministry Program Kick Off!
At Greater St. Matthew Independent Church

Richard Ashby (Yeadon Library Director) Rev. Gregory A. Johnson ( Greater St. Matthew Independent Church) Ms. Beverly Abe  ( Program Coordinator) Marvin DeBose (Haverford Library Branch Manager)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Jason Reynolds the Author of "When I was The Greatest"@ Haverford Library

Reynolds, Jason. (2014) When I Was the Greatest. Hardback | Atheneum | ISBN-9781442459472 | $17.99 |   240 Pages

Friends + bad choices = deadly circumstances.  When Ali and his friends land an invite to an off-limits party that is so under the radar you can’t even hear the music from the street, it’s just too good to be true. An innocent misstep leads to total chaos and causes the dangers from the streets to almost destroy friendship and family. A fresh debut that captures the heart and soul of life for an urban teen who is trying to make the right choices

Marvin DeBose (Haverford Branch Manager) & Jason Reynolds (Author)

James Reynolds' visit to Haverford Library on the Free Library of Philadelphia “Teen Author Series” event was awesome in front of a crowd of 135 middle school students. This being my first time meeting Jason, I was very impressed with his demeanor and how he engaged with this young crowd that showed up for his book discussion.
Thanks go out to Aurora Sanchez the Teen Author Series Outreach Coordinator for coordinating this event.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

In the Margins Official 2015 Top Ten List

In the Margins Top Fiction Award, 2015: How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon

In the Margins Top Non-Fiction Award, 2015:   Left for Dead by Ebony Canion

For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Cheney Chair, In the Margins Book Award and Committee
SAN FRANCISCO — In the Margins Book Award and Selection Committee, (ITM) a committee under the umbrella of Library Services for Youth in Custody (LYSC) selected their top non-fiction and fiction winning titles as well as a top 10 and list of 34 titles. In the Margins is committed to the promoting and highlighting diverse books and voices that have been in the margins. ITM strives to find the best books for teens living in poverty, on the streets, in custody - or a cycle of all three.  
In the Margins Top Fiction Award, 2015: How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
In the Margins Top Non-Fiction Award, 2015:   Left for Dead by Ebony Canion

In the Margins Official 2015 Top Ten List

Butler, Pacc. From God’s Monster to the Devil’s Angel. CreateSpace. January 2014. 170p. PB $14.95. ISBN 9781494771669.
Canion, Ebony. Left for Dead. Life Changing Books. February 2014. 228p. PB $15.99. ISBN 9781934230596. 
Ewing, Lynne. The Lure. Balzer + Bray. February 2014. 288p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9780062206886. 
Little, Ashley. Anatomy of a Girl Gang. Arsenal Pulp. May 2014. 254p. PB $16.95. ISBN 9781551525297. 
Magoon, Kekla. How It Went Down. Henry Holt. October 2014. 336 p. HC $17.99. ISBN  9780805098693. 
Miles, Michelle. The High Price I Had to Pay 2: Sentenced to 30 Years as a Nonviolent, First Time Offender. Voices International. November 2013. 66p. PB $7.99.  ISBN9780991104109. 
Reynolds, Jason. When I Was the Greatest. Atheneum. January 2014. 240p. HC $17.99. ISBN 9781442459472.
Wilson, Rayshawn. Lionheart: Coming From Where I’m From. Legendary Publishing. August 2014. 196p. PB $15.00. ISBN 9780982786321.
Workman, P.D. Ruby: Between the Cracks (Volume 1). PD Workman. February 2014. 486p. PB $16.90. ISBN 9780992153953. 
Zusman, Angela Beth. The Griots of Oakland: Voices from the African American Oral History Project. Story for All. October 2013. 206p. HC $59.99. ISBN 9780988763111. PB $14.99. ISBN 978-0988763104. 

"We are thrilled with the second year of this important work finding relevant books for our communities that validate, illuminate and humanize those living in the margins. The majority of our top ten and even our list may be unknown to you - providing you more relevant books for your collections.  This year we introduce our top fiction, top non-fiction, and advocacy award categories. We have a great list, bringing to national attention books that add to diversity in our collections and world,”  said Amy Cheney, Chair of In the Margins Book Award and Selection committee. “We are proud to contribute to bringing these voices out of the underground and into your libraries." 
Annotations, the full list and more information on the committee and selections can be found at: 
Please be on the lookout for YA Underground in School Library Journal  2/4/15 for more details and an inside view. In addition, this is the first year we will announce the Advocacy Award on 2/18/15 at the link above and in the School LIbrary Journal column. 
ITM identifies quality, age appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in urban, lockdown, homeless shelters and other non-traditional venues for teens living in the margins.
2015 Committee: 
Chair: Amy Cheney, Librarian, Juvenile Justice Center, Alameda County, CA
Administrative Assistant: Dr. Kerry Sutherland, Youth Services Librarian, Akron-Summit County Public Library, OH
Project Assistant: Mackenzie Magee, English teacher, Passages Academy, NY
Sabrina Carnesi, Librarian, Crittenden Middle School, VA
Dale Clark, Teacher-Librarian, Fraser Park Secondary, Burnaby Youth Custody Services, Burnaby, BC Canada
Joe Coyle, Project Coordinator, Mix IT Up!, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL
Marvin DeBose Sr., Library Supervisor, Free Library of Philadelphia, PA
Maggie Novario, Teen Librarian, Fort Vancouver Regional Library District, WA
Amy Wander, Youth Services Manager, Lafayette Public Library, LA

PR Category: 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Free Library of Philadelphia Staff & Masons brings Holiday Joy to the residents of Interim House West

Free Library of Philadelphia Staff & Masons brings Holiday Joy to the residents of Interim House West !

Marvin DeBose & Christina Holmes
 (Branch Manager @ Haverford Library)     (Children Librarian @ Overbrook Park)

  The Free Library of Philadelphia and Mt. Olive Lodge #27 Prince Hall Affiliated Masons collaborated on an outreach program at the Interim House West during the holiday season on Saturday Dec. 20 of last year. Interim House West Inc. is a residential shelter for substance or domestic abuse mothers & their children located at 4108 Parkside Ave, Philadelphia, Pa.

The Free Library of Philadelphia staff members provided a book for every child at the shelter. DeBose & Holmes set up a display table with the Free Library of Philadelphia promotional material. They also discussed with the shelter staff & residents the different services that the library provides and also offer to return to the Interim House for story time in the future.