The Plot (in 5 sentences or less): Father Groppi was a leader in the civil rights movement in the 1960’s in Wisconsin. While he attended seminary as a young man, James Groppi worked in youth centers in underprivileged areas in segregated Milwaukee where he learned about the travails of the African American population. After becoming ordained, he traveled the south during the 1950’s and early 60’s where he witnessed first hand the violent racism of the south. Deciding to bring the civil rights movement to Milwaukee, Father Groppi began organizing marches demanding treatment in equal housing and public education. His most famous moments came when he marched a group of blacks over the Sixteenth Street Viaduct into the working class white enclaves.
My Take: This is a straightforward book that will not only introduce young readers to Father Groppi’s struggles in Milwaukee, but also to the broader struggle of civil rights. Throughout the book, the author defines and explains terms and concepts such as “boycotts” and “civil disobedience” that may seem unfamiliar to younger minds. If you are looking for a biography on a lesser known civil rights advocate, this would be an excellent choice. ages 10+
One Interesting Note About the Author: Stuart Stotts is not only an author, but also a dynamic speaker, performer, and early childhood educator trainer! Check out more about him at his website: stuartstotts.com