Author-illustrator Don Tate dropped by Watch. Connect. Read. to share and celebrate the book trailer for Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton. I hope you'll share this important story with all your students in September. Happy watching and reading!
|Photo Credit: Sam Bond Photography|
It was nine years ago when my friend and bookmaking partner, Chris Barton, suggested that I write a story about an enslaved poet who once worked at the University of North Carolina, who the university would soon name a building after. George Moses Horton was the name of that poet, and I’d never heard of him. I began my research that same afternoon.
It was a long trek from conception to publication, but the book is almost here! I’m really excited that POET: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF GEORGE MOSES HORTON will publish on September 1, 2015, with Peachtree Publishers. This will mark my debut as both author *and* illustrator!
POET is the story of the first African American to be published in the south, and he published poetry while still enslaved. Much of his poetry protested slavery at a time when teaching an enslaved person how to read was against the law—just think about that!
It would be impossible to write a story about George Moses Horton without speaking to the importance of literacy, though it wasn’t my goal to write a book with a message. Reading opens doors, it changes lives. When I sign POET, I’ve been using two of my favorite reading quotes. Frederick Douglass once said: “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” And Dr. Seuss: “The more that you read, the more things you’ll know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
George Moses Horton said those things too, but not with words. His actions, the example of his life spoke to the importance of reading.
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate | Publication Date: September 1, 2015
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