Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Godmother of Rock & Roll

| By Traci Cothran | When pop sensation Lizzo appeared on Saturday Night Live in December, her guitarist, Celisse Henderson (pictured at left, below), paid tribute to the late Sister Rosetta Tharpe (at right) via her guitar, outfit, and shredding. But who was Sister Rosetta and what should we know about her? Her career as … Read more

The Infamous Case of Recy Taylor

| By Traci Cothran | In this day of the deliberate proliferation of fake news, the facts are more important than ever. But it’s a dire time, as newspapers and journalists struggle to survive to bring us all the facts and uncover truths. I was reminded recently that it’s not only what is written that … Read more

2019 Nobel Prizes in Science

| By K. Lee Lerner | Citing their joint “contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded equal shares of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics to Canadian-born American physicist James Peebles (1935‒), the Albert Einstein Professor of Science at … Read more

Remembering Toni Morrison

| By Laura Avery | Toni Morrison is one of the most highly respected authors in contemporary American literature. Beginning with the publication of her first novel, The Bluest Eye, Morrison earned increasing critical and popular acclaim. Her novels highlight the struggles of black people to rediscover and maintain connections to their cultural history and to … Read more

Nevertheless, She Persisted – Celebrating Women’s History Month Honorees

| By Deb Kirby | A couple of days after Senator Elizabeth Warren’s attempted silencing on the floor of the U.S. Senate during Attorney Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearings, I ordered a tee shirt featuring the now famous phrase, Nevertheless, She Persisted. That evening as my husband and I waited in the noisy lobby of Ann … Read more

The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Foundational Influence

Published on June 9, 2016

By Debra Kirby

I listen to National Public Radio (NPR) on my daily commute. A series on All Things Considered called Generational Politics, which aired in June and which explored the events that shaped the political views of three different generations – 25, 45, and 65 year olds – got me thinking about what most influenced my views, political and beyond. Looking back it is no surprise that having spent some of my most formative years in the 1960s in Detroit, the events related to the Civil Rights Movement played a major role in shaping my beliefs, ideas and character. To this day, I feel privileged to have witnessed that exciting and often turbulent time – even though my parents refused, despite my most earnest and compelling arguments, to let their pre-teen daughter travel by bus to Washington, DC to actually participate in the historic events.  The anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 this July 2 provides the perfect opportunity to go beyond the more commonly known facts surrounding this historic act and the events and people who made it happen.

For example, did you know?

  • John Robert Lewis, civil rights movement veteran and U.S. Congressman from Georgia since 1986, was the only living speaker from the March on Washington present at President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration. After the ceremony, Lewis asked Obama to sign a commemorative photograph for him. The new president signed the photo with the message, “Because of you, John. Barack Obama.” — Biography In Context.

Read moreThe Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Foundational Influence

What is Autism?

Posted on April 22, 2016

By Traci Cothran

Have you heard of it?  It’s Autism Awareness Month – the Cairo Tower in Egypt, the Empire State Building in the US, City Hall in Tel Aviv, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and many other buildings around the world were bathed in the color blue on April 2 to raise global awareness of Autism.

So what do you know about this disorder?  Are you up on the latest medical developments?  No?  Then grab that mouse and start looking in our Gale products for the answers!

Here are a few bits to pique your interest:

  • Did you know that Autism was apparent in people prior to the Civil War (but not diagnosed as such)? See 2016 Smithsonian magazine in General One File
  • You may have heard of animal behavioral scientist and author, Temple Grandin, but are you aware of her widespread impact on the livestock industry? See Biography In Context
  • From our Gale eBooks (GVRL) collection, The Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders delivers lots of authoritative information
  • Not sure how to approach the topic with younger kids? Try our Kids InfoBits article, “Autism Spectrum Disorder,” (Diseases and Conditions, Gale, 2016) – it offers clear facts at an appropriate reading and comprehension level.

Read moreWhat is Autism?

Get Started Gathering Ideas for Black History Month Lesson Plans

Posted on January 8, 2015

There’s an abundance of historical riches out there, but sometimes you have to know where to look to find the pot of educational gold.  During Black History Month, get high school and undergraduate students to delve a bit deeper and uncover these influential and amazing people who changed lives and generations.  Get the facts from Gale’s In Context database products, relate them to curriculum topics, then follow up with the other multimedia suggested to engage students further.

Civil Rights Movement, US Government, Graphic Novels = John R. Lewis.  This Georgia congressman, serving for 29 years, leads a fascinating life.  Son of a sharecropper, Lewis became one of the six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, served as SNCC chairman, and was one of the original Freedom Riders — all before he was thirty years old. There’s SO much more to discover about this icon, including his publication of two student-friendly graphic novels covering the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March, entitled March: Book One and Book Two.

Read moreGet Started Gathering Ideas for Black History Month Lesson Plans

“Why Fit In When You Were Born to Stand Out?” Programming Using eBook Biographies

Join Booklist, Gale, and Britannica for a free, hour-long webinar on biography programming that will inspire students to be the best they can be! Using a monthly thematic approach, presenters will share three months of programming featuring e-book biographies, including innovative activities, standard-aligned lesson plans and resources that can be used right away or adapted … Read more