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John’s Island Book Sale set for July 26-27

CHARLESTON CHRONICLE — Love a bargain? Come to the Charleston Friends of the Library John’s Island Book Sale on Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27 at the John’s Island Branch 3531 Maybank Hwy., 29455. Browse through more than 10,000 gently used books, CDs, DVDs, and audio books at great prices.

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By The Charleston Chronicle

Love a bargain? Come to the Charleston Friends of the Library John’s Island Book Sale on Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27 at the John’s Island Branch 3531 Maybank Hwy., 29455. Browse through more than 10,000 gently used books, CDs, DVDs, and audio books at great prices.

Books, DVDs, and CDs, will be available with prices starting at $1 for paperbacks and $3 for hardback books. Items include mysteries, romances, classics, children’s books, local histories, cookbooks and a variety of non-fiction topics. Children’s books start at just $0.50 each. Find great books, great bargains and support your local Library.

The Charleston Friends of the Library is a non-profit volunteer organization that raises money through book sales to help fund library services, equipment, training, materials and public programming. The Friends collect and sort donated books for resale to raise money.

Schedule and details: 

  • Friday, July 26 from 9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 27 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Admission is free Friday and Saturday.
  • A special event for Friends of the Library members will be held at the John’s Island Branch, Thursday evening, July 25 from 5:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

For more information on our John’s Island Book Sale, visit www.CharlestonLibraryFriends.

This article originally appeared in the Charleston Chronicle

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Activism

“The Three Mothers,” a Celebration of Black Motherhood

Emma Berdis Baldwin, Louise Little, and Alberta King are described by author Anna Malaika Tubbs as “women who have been almost entirely ignored throughout history” in her book “The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation.”

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Emma Berdis Baldwin (Digitalcommonwealth.org), Alberta King (Wikipedia.org photo) and Loise Norton Little (Twitter.com photo)
Emma Berdis Baldwin (Digitalcommonwealth.org), Alberta King (Wikipedia.org photo) and Loise Norton Little (Twitter.com photo)

By Tamara Shiloh

James Baldwin is known as “the most eloquent literary spokesperson for the civil rights of African Americans.”

A staunch supporter of Black nationalism, Malcolm X was a minister and leader in the civil rights movement. He strongly suggested that Blacks stand against white aggression “by any means necessary.”

Social activist and Baptist minister Martin Luther King Jr. played a key role in the civil rights movement. He sought equality and human rights for all people of color through peaceful protest.

The common thread that bound these men was their dedication to changing the course of the nation, and that each were raised by a strong Black mother.

Emma Berdis Baldwin, Louise Little, and Alberta King are described by author Anna Malaika Tubbs as “women who have been almost entirely ignored throughout history” in her book “The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation.”

Tubbs writes that the women were “ignored even though it should have been easy throughout history to see them…in ways that are blatantly obvious when the fame of their sons are considered.” These three mothers “have been erased.”

Research presented in the book on how Black women have been systematically dehumanized “fights that erasure.” Still, the mothers “allowed their children to thrive even when all odds were stacked against them.” The exploration of their lives begins on the island of Grenada, generations before Louise (Norton) Little was born.

To understand Little, “to know how the color of her skin influenced her thinking, in order to comprehend why her grandparents were so important in her life and, as a result, in Malcolm X’s life, we cannot begin with her birth,” Tubbs explains about researching the family back to the 19th century.

Little refused to let her children “fall victim to a mentality that told them they were inferior to anybody else. She made sure they knew how Black people were standing up for their rights not only in the United States but also around the world.”

She wrote for the Negro World newspaper and spoke at least three languages.

Like most Black families, the kitchen was the place to gather in the King’s home. It was there that both parents “taught their children about the injustices of segregation and reminded them of the importance of doing their part in changing such inequities.”

Alberta King was the most educated of the three mothers, attending Spelman Seminary, the Hampton Normal and Industrial Institute, and Morris Brown College.

James Baldwin lived in a society that degraded him, yet Berdis made sure he had the best education possible. She recognized that young James could make a difference and would do whatever she could to support his dreams. When Baldwin was honored with one of his first writing awards, Berdis accepted it on his behalf.

“The Three Mothers” is a celebration of Black motherhood throughout past and present generations and a historical account of the powerful roles of women in the Black family.

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Black History

Alexa Irene Canady: First Black Woman Neurosurgeon in U.S.

Some of Alexa Irene Canady’s advisors attempted to discourage her from following through on her plans. She experienced difficulties in obtaining an internship. But those roadblocks didn’t impede her dream. After graduating cum laude from medical school (1975), she joined Yale-New Haven Hospital in Bridgeport, Conn., as a surgical intern.

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Alexa Irene Canady. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Public domain photo.
Alexa Irene Canady. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Public domain photo.

By Tamara Shiloh

It was during a health careers summer program at the University of Michigan that Alexa Irene Canady (b. 1950) decided to pursue medicine. Her undergraduate degree was in zoology, but she was convinced that continuing her studies at the university’s medical school was what she wanted.

It was the “summer after my junior year,” Canady was quoted as saying. “I worked in Dr. Bloom’s lab in genetics and attended a genetic counseling clinic. I fell in love with medicine.”

And she never regretted her decision.

Her initial interest was internal medicine. After being introduced to neurosurgery, she changed her path. But not everyone supported her decision.

Some of Canady’s advisors attempted to discourage her from following through on her plans. She experienced difficulties in obtaining an internship. But those roadblocks didn’t impede her dream. After graduating cum laude from medical school (1975), she joined Yale-New Haven Hospital in Bridgeport, Conn., as a surgical intern.

When her internship ended, she moved on to the University of Minnesota. There she served as a resident of the university’s department of neurosurgery, making her the first Black female neurosurgery resident in the United States. When her residency ended, she became the first Black female neurosurgeon.

“The greatest challenge I faced in becoming a neurosurgeon was believing it was possible,” Canady is famously quoted.

But the road to success was not without challenges.

Canady admits that she came close to dropping out of college because “I had a crisis of confidence.” But knowing there was a chance to win a minority scholarship in medicine, “it was an instant connection.” Despite her qualifications and high GPA, she could not escape prejudices and micro-aggressive comments.

On her first day at Yale-New Haven, Canady recalls tending to a patient when a hospital administrator passed by and commented: “Oh, you must be our new equal-opportunity package.”

The tables turned when a few years later at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, her fellow physicians voted her one of the top residents.

During her 22-year career as a neurosurgeon, Canady worked with young patients facing life-threatening illnesses, gunshot wounds, head trauma, hydrocephaly, and other brain injuries or diseases. Most were age 10 or younger.

Canady shares that her biggest career obstacle was convincing the neurosurgery chairman that she was “not a risk to drop out or be fired, a disaster in a program where there are only one or two residents per year. I was the first African American woman [in the department]. Along with that, my other greatest obstacle was convincing myself that someone would give me a chance to work as a neurosurgeon.”

She admits that she was worried that “because I [am] a Black woman, any practice opportunities would be limited. By being patient-centered, the practice’s growth was exponential.”

Read more about Canady’s journey to overcoming racial prejudice, patriarchy, and sexism in “Dr Alexa Irene Canady: The Incredible Story of the First Black Woman to Become a Neurosurgeon” by Isabel Carson.

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Black History

Sheryl Swoopes, The Little Dribbler

Raised by her mother in Brownsville, Texas, young Sheryl Swoopes played basketball with her three older brothers. By age seven, she was competing in a local kid’s league, the Little Dribblers. It was her siblings, she said, that helped her hone her game. “At first, they didn’t like playing with me,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “Then when they did, they wouldn’t play hard. But eventually one brother, James, played ball at Murray State. He’s 6-4. He wouldn’t play hard until he saw how good I was getting, when I beat him a couple of times.”

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WNBA All-Star and AAU alum Sheryl Swoopes.
WNBA All-Star and AAU alum Sheryl Swoopes.

By Tamara Shiloh

In April 1996, women’s basketball announced: “We Got Next.”

The WNBA was approved by the NBA Board of Governors, and games would begin the following year. The inaugural season proved successful as more than 50 million viewers watched the games.

Six months after the announcement, the league signed its first player, Sheryl Denise Swoopes (b. 1971–). In 1997, she was recruited for the Houston Comets. The signing of the contract had been long anticipated, far from the days when a girl turning pro seemed an impossible dream.

Raised by her mother in Brownsville, Texas, young Sheryl played basketball with her three older brothers. By age seven, she was competing in a local kid’s league, the Little Dribblers. It was her siblings, she said, that helped her hone her game.

“At first, they didn’t like playing with me,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “Then when they did, they wouldn’t play hard. But eventually one brother, James, played ball at Murray State. He’s 6-4. He wouldn’t play hard until he saw how good I was getting, when I beat him a couple of times.”

Over time, competing with her brothers increased her confidence, making her eager to test her skills on the blacktop. Swoopes made the basketball team at Brownfield High School, where she developed into an All-State and All-American high school player.

“It helps to play with the guys,” she told the Washington Post. “They’re so much more physical than girls are. Once you go out and you play with guys, and you get in a situation with girls, you think, ‘Well, if I scored on that guy, I know I can score on her.’”

Six feet tall by high school graduation, Swoops stood among the most popular college recruits. Her choice: University of Texas at Austin. It was the only school she seriously considered, yet she’d never given the 400-mile distance much thought.

“It was a big national basketball power, and I thought they could take my game to another level. But once I got there … well, I just didn’t realize how far it was from home,” she said. Homesick, after four days she returned home, relinquishing her full scholarship.

Determined to take her game to another level, Swoops ignored the naysayers predicting her career was already over. She enrolled in South Plains Junior College in Levelland, Texas. There, after her second season, she was named National Junior College Player of the Year. Basketball, going forward, was an uphill climb.

In 1993, Swoopes won the NCAA women’s basketball championship with the Texas Tech Lady Raiders. She has won three Olympic gold medals, an NCAA Championship, and a WNBA title. She was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. In 2017, she was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

Share Swoopes’ story about the game with your young daughter. Read “Shattering the Glass: The Remarkable History of Women’s Basketball,” by Pamela Grundy and Susan Shackelford.

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