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Power in the Past: Introducing Online Conference Keynote Speaker Tonya Bolden

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This post was co-written by Danna Bell and Kathleen McGuigan of the Library of Congress

Tonya Bolden
Tonya Bolden

Award-winning author Tonya Bolden will discuss her research and writing processes as part of her keynote address for the second annual Library of Congress online conference for educators, Discover and Explore with Library of Congress Primary Sources, on October 25th at 4:00 ET.

Bolden is the author of more than 20 books for young people. These include Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century Girl; Searching for Sarah Rector: The Richest Black Girl in America; Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty; and M.L.K.: The Journey of a King. Bolden has received a Coretta Scott King Honor, a James Madison Award, a Carter G. Woodson Award and NCTE Orbis Pictus Honors. Her most recent work, How to Build a Museum: Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (Viking), chronicles the history behind the development and the building of the latest museum on the National Mall.

Bolden recently participated in a series of conversations with young people about her research process and her writing process. During these conversations, which are available on the Library of Congress You Tube channel (Part 1  Part 2  part 3 ), she discussed the value of studying and understanding history, emphasizing that there is “power in the past” and that knowing our history makes us whole.

A skilled researcher, Bolden has harnessed the power of the past in her books. She combines vivid storytelling with links to primary sources and first-hand accounts of life during the time period when a particular book takes place. Readers feel as if they are with Maritcha as she and her family flee their home during the New York draft riots of 1863 or in a courtroom with Sarah Rector as decisions are made about her rights.

Elementary school librarian Tom Bober will facilitate this engaging conversation about the importance of primary sources and using them to learn our history.

Participating in the online conference is free, but registration is required. Learn more about this and other sessions and register here.

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