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Pathfinders

Cover of Pathfinders

Pathfinders

The Journeys of 16 Extraordinary Black Souls
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Over the centuries, untold numbers of black men and women in America have achieved great things against the odds. Pathfinders is a collective biography of sixteen diverse American men and women of African descent who made their mark on American history in the 18th to 20th centuries. People who dared to dream, take risks, and create goals not only for themselves, but for others and the betterment of their society, too. Award-winning author Tonya Bolden offers an insightful look at these figures, from Venture Smith, who bought his freedom; to Sadie Alexander, who contributed to the Civil Rights movement in the United States; to Katherine Johnson, who helped the United States land on the moon.

Among the incredible people in this nonfiction masterpiece are James Forten (1766–1842), a powder boy then prisoner of war during the Revolution, who grew up to be the captain of his own ship and one of Philadelphia's leading abolitionists and wealthiest citizen; Richard Potter (1783-1835), an accomplished magician, ventriloquist, and hypnotist who paved the way for other well-known entertainers like Harry Houdini; Paul Revere Williams (1894–1980), born poor and an orphan by age four, who became known as the "Architect to the Stars" (among them Danny Thomas); Jackie Ormes (1911–1985), who first made her mark as a cartoonist in the 1930s; and Katherine Johnson (1918), a mathematician and physicist whose calculations were key to the successful missions of astronauts Alan Shepard, John Glenn, and Neil Armstrong. Each evocative profile includes an enlightening look at the historical build up and several images ranging from paintings and photographs to primary documents. The book ends with endnotes, a timeline, a bibliography, and an index. Ideal for Black History Month and common core usage, this book will also find wide appeal year-round for curious minds looking to discover fascinating pieces of American History, as well as interesting career possibilities.

The book examines the lives of:

Venture Smith, prince

James Forten, entrepreneur

Richard Potter, magician

James McCune Smith, physician

Mary Bowser, spy

Allen Allensworth, town founder

Clara Brown, pioneer

Sissieretta Jones, concert singer

Maggie Lena Walker, bank founder

Charlie Wiggins, race car driver

Eugene Bullard, combat pilot

Oscar Micheaux, filmmaker

Jackie Ormes, cartoonist

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, economist and attorney

Paul R. Williams, architect

Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson, mathematician

Over the centuries, untold numbers of black men and women in America have achieved great things against the odds. Pathfinders is a collective biography of sixteen diverse American men and women of African descent who made their mark on American history in the 18th to 20th centuries. People who dared to dream, take risks, and create goals not only for themselves, but for others and the betterment of their society, too. Award-winning author Tonya Bolden offers an insightful look at these figures, from Venture Smith, who bought his freedom; to Sadie Alexander, who contributed to the Civil Rights movement in the United States; to Katherine Johnson, who helped the United States land on the moon.

Among the incredible people in this nonfiction masterpiece are James Forten (1766–1842), a powder boy then prisoner of war during the Revolution, who grew up to be the captain of his own ship and one of Philadelphia's leading abolitionists and wealthiest citizen; Richard Potter (1783-1835), an accomplished magician, ventriloquist, and hypnotist who paved the way for other well-known entertainers like Harry Houdini; Paul Revere Williams (1894–1980), born poor and an orphan by age four, who became known as the "Architect to the Stars" (among them Danny Thomas); Jackie Ormes (1911–1985), who first made her mark as a cartoonist in the 1930s; and Katherine Johnson (1918), a mathematician and physicist whose calculations were key to the successful missions of astronauts Alan Shepard, John Glenn, and Neil Armstrong. Each evocative profile includes an enlightening look at the historical build up and several images ranging from paintings and photographs to primary documents. The book ends with endnotes, a timeline, a bibliography, and an index. Ideal for Black History Month and common core usage, this book will also find wide appeal year-round for curious minds looking to discover fascinating pieces of American History, as well as interesting career possibilities.

The book examines the lives of:

Venture Smith, prince

James Forten, entrepreneur

Richard Potter, magician

James McCune Smith, physician

Mary Bowser, spy

Allen Allensworth, town founder

Clara Brown, pioneer

Sissieretta Jones, concert singer

Maggie Lena Walker, bank founder

Charlie Wiggins, race car driver

Eugene Bullard, combat pilot

Oscar Micheaux, filmmaker

Jackie Ormes, cartoonist

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, economist and attorney

Paul R. Williams, architect

Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson, mathematician

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About the Author-
  • Award-winning author Tonya Bolden's books have garnered much praise and earned countless starred reviews. Her books have been won the James Madison Book Award and have been named the School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, YALSA Best Book of the Year, and CCBC Best Book of the Year. Bolden's works were twice nominated for an NAACP award, for her books Searching for Sarah Rector and Beautiful Moon. She won a Coretta Scott King Honor Award for Maritcha: A Nineteenth Century American Girl. Bolden's acclaimed works include Capital Days: Michael Shiner's Journal and the Growth of Our Nation's Capital; Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty; 12 Days of New York; George Washington Carver; M.L.K.: Journey Of A King; Tell All the Children Our Story: Memories and Mementos of Being Young and Black in America; and Wake Up Our Souls: A Celebration of Black American Artists.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 14, 2016
    In an immersive series of brief, chronological biographies, Bolden (Capital Days) highlights 16 pioneering African-American men and women, beginning with Venture Smith—the son of a West African prince who was sold into slavery, freed himself and his family, and fought during the Revolutionary War—and concluding with mathematician and NASA researcher Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson. Detailed descriptions and sidebars offer rich portraits of each person’s life and era, and period illustrations and photographs lend further depth to figures who will likely be unfamiliar to many readers, including soprano Sissieretta Jones, banker Maggie Lena Walker, and WWI combat pilot Eugene Bullard. While recognizing these individuals’ accomplishments, Bolden makes it clear that countless other innovative and brave black citizens blazed trails alongside them. Ages 10–14. Agent: Jennifer Lyons, Jennifer Lyons Literary.

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Pathfinders
Pathfinders
The Journeys of 16 Extraordinary Black Souls
Tonya Bolden
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