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In Memoriam :: Dorothy Sterling

Kid’s literature luminary Sterling dies at age 95
By Elaine Woo
Los Angeles Times

Dorothy Sterling, a significant figure in 20th century children’s literature for her well-researched portrayals of historical black Americans written decades before multiculturalism became mainstream, died Dec. 1 at her home in Wellfleet, Mass. She was 95.

A self-described accidental historian, Sterling wrote more than 35 books, among the best known of which is “Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman.” Published in 1954 and still in print, it was one of the first full-length biographies of a historic black figure written for children.

The author drew attention to more obscure but important figures in “Captain of the Planter: The Story of Robert Smalls” (1958), the first children’s biography of the slave who captured a Confederate gunboat during the Civil War. “The Making of an Afro-American: Martin Robison Delany” (1971) helped stir interest in the little-known abolitionist, Harvard-educated physician and early proponent of black nationalism…[read the rest here]

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