Today is Columbus Day! Or is it Indigenous Peoples’ Day?

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!

Have you touched base with the teen in your life yet?

As I was running errands over the weekend, I saw a sign like this one.

So, what is Columbus Day?

History of Columbus Day

According to history.com, in the late 1400s, the route from Europe to Asia by land was long and filled with hostile armies. Portuguese explorers figured out how to do it by sea instead. They sailed around the West African Coast and around the Cape of Good Hope.

Christopher Columbus had a different idea. Why not sail west across the Atlantic Ocean?

His idea was good, but his calculations were flawed. He believed that the circumference of the Earth was much smaller than it was and sailing west would be a quicker way to get to Asia. There were no accurate maps available at the time. So, there was no way to know for sure.

Columbus had a hard time selling this idea and obtain funding for his trip. Then he finally convinced Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile to support him. On August 3, 1492, Columbus and his crew set sail from Spain in three ships, the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. On October 12th, the ships made landfall not in the East Indies, but on one of the Bahamian Islands.

The four voyages of Columbus to the New World

This was how Columbus discovered America in 1492. If you would like to read more about his life, here’s a link to history.com Christopher Columbus.

Timeline of being recognized as a national holiday then a federal one

In 1892, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus discovering America, President Benjamin Harrison declared Columbus Day as a one-time national celebration.

In 1934, Franklin Roosevelt made a proclamation to recognize Columbus Day as a national holiday. This would allow for appropriate ceremonies expressing the public feelings towards the anniversary of the discovery of America.

In 1966, Mariano Lucca, pushed to have Columbus Day made into a federal holiday which it became in 1968. Since it is a federal holiday, all federal employees celebrate the day as a paid day off.

Every year, it is celebrated on the second Monday in October, which this year happens to be October 12th, the day Columbus actually landed in the New World, 528 years ago today.

What have we learned about Columbus?

Columbus sailed across the Atlantic not only to have the fame in finding new lands, but also to capture riches to bring back to Spain for him and the sponsors of his expedition. While he was in the new world, he started to enslave the native people, Taino. He believed they were made to be enslaved, due to their body build and peaceful nature.

When the riches he promised were not coming to fruition, he started sending the Taino people back to Spain on return voyages to serve and be sold as slaves for his sponsors. Isabella was uphauled at the gesture. She believed people who were found through the expeditions should become Spanish citizens and not be enslaved. The Taino were sent back. Colmbus was arrested and brought back to Spain in chains.

Change to Indigenous Peoples’ Day

When people learned a little more about Columbus and how he had treated the Taino people, many stopped celebrating Columbus Day. The holiday has changed its name in many states to Indignous Peoples’ Day. The theme of the day is to honor Native American people, their histories and cultures.

Shawn’s Way

The second book in the Way Series, Shawn’s Way, will be released next month.

Just like the first book, The Hard Way, it is also a coming of age novel focusing on a teen challenge. Where The Hard Way focused on peer pressure, Shawn’s Way, focuses on a teen being a target of a bully and an older teen being thhe one who bullies. Be sure to keep checking back to my wesite for updates on the release date.

You still have time to pick up a copy of The Hard Way for another good teen read and get up to speed for what happens in book two.

Have a great week!

People in our country’s history – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!

Did you have a good week last week? Did you get a chance to check in with that teenager in your life? What did they have to say? We are in the process of painting our condo to sell it in the near future. Our youngest son came over and helped us out by moving some stuff for us to clear space to paint. With a little direction, we handed him the roller and gave him a lesson on how to paint a room. We took an opportunity to give him another life skill that will come in handy someday.

Speaking of learning, what else can we learn from others?

I enjoy reading memoirs. What is a memoir? Well, according to the Google dictionary, it is a historical account or biography written from personal knowledge or special sources. I’m currently reading one of Barack Obama’s called Dreams from My Father, which is a collection of memories written by him. With the focus on racial inequality lately, reading Obama’s book is shedding more light some of those same themes for me. The memoir not only tells his story growing up and getting involved in the community around him; it also talks about his own personal experiences with racial inequalities he has either witnessed or experienced while on his own life journey. If you are interested in reading it, check it out of you local online library or purchase a copy from your local bookshop at Bookshop.org.

Not only do we have racial inequality in our country, there’s also inequality when it comes to gender. We lost a champion of women’s rights last week to complications from metastatic pancreas cancer.

People in our country’s history

Do you know who Ruth Bader Ginsburg was? She was

• An associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court
• Second woman to serve on the Supreme Court after Sandra Day O’Connor
• Attended Harvard Law School (only 9 women in a class of 500 men) but transferred to (due to her husband’s work transfer) and graduated tied for first in her class at Columbia University
• Became the first woman to be on two law reviews, Harvard Law Review and Columbia Law Review

The list of things above show just some of the things she accomplished in her life, she was also

• A wife
• A mother
• A grandmother
• And a champion for women’s rights

When she earned her law degree in 1959, it was hard for women to do the kinds of things she wanted to do. You would think that being at the top of your class at Columbia, you should have no trouble finding a job. If you were a man, yes, but no so if you were a woman. She wound up doing a lot of teaching before she was even able to practice law. She took on her first position as a professor at Rutgers Law School in 1963. She was informed that she would be paid less than her male counterparts because she had a husband with a well-paying job. If you are a woman in today’s society, would you want to have your salary based on what your husband does for a living? Or be paid a fair wage for the work you are doing?

She battled this type of gender discrimination throughout her life. Through her struggles, she pushed for and helped get many of the rights that women have today. She served on the Supreme Court for 27 years before she passed away and was seen as a champion of women’s rights. The results of that fight will live on in what she gave this country during her lifetime.

“Fight for the things you care about”

Without reading these life stories, we wouldn’t know about the struggles people have had to face in their life journeys. Obama and Ginsburg have made great strides towards equality in our government, but we still have a ways to go. Obama was working within our communities to try and make things better and then became the first black President of the United States. Ginsburg was breaking down barriers for women on her way to becoming the second woman associate justice on the United States Supreme Court. Sure, they both had people supporting them, but they also kept going after the things they personally wanted to achieve, even when challenges were put in front of them to keep them from getting there.

People like Barack Obama and Ruth Bader Ginsburg inspire me to fight for the things that I care about and want to achieve. Who inspires you to fight for the things you care about? Please let me know in the comments below.

Deep Valley Virtual Book Festival

Two weeks left until the Deep Valley Virtual Book Festival! Be sure to check into their website on October 3rd and 4th. There are many authors participating with a wide variety of books to purchase. There are also different panels to check out too! I am participating in the YA Author panel. I will have an author profile where you can purchase a copy of The Hard Way and get a little glimpse of book #2 in The Way Series called Shawn’s Way, due to publish in November of 2020.

The Hard Way

Can’t wait to pick up a copy of The Hard Way? Click on the books tab onmy website and follow the link to get your very own. You still have plenty of time to read it before book #2 is released.

Have a great week!

Book Review – Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!

How was your week last week? I was busy starting my new “day job”. It was a challenge to change my routine back to going to work every day. But it was nice to be going to my office (dining room table) to work from home. I’m excited to be working again, but with COVID still an issue, it’s nice to not have to go to an office yet. It is a part of the new world we are living in. We then took this weekend for some family time at the cabin.

Did you try and reach out to any teens this week? Take the time to check in and see if they just may need someone to listen? Please let me know in the comments below.

Read any good books lately? I have read quite a few more than normal due to the COVID stay at home movement. I have been trying not only read for enjoyment, but also to learn a little something too. With the recent racial events (which have been going on for a lot longer than the last few months), I’ve been reading books other than fiction to understand how much I really know about race and our history.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned in my What Ya Reading Wednesday? Instgram post that I was reading Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. This book is a remix of the book originally written by Kendi called Stamped from the Beginning written for a young adult audience. And since that’s the audience I’m writing for, I thought I’d read that version instead.

Selma’s Book Review

Book Title
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You

Author
Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Type of Book
Teen or Young Adult Non-Fiction

Background
This is a remix of a book originally written by Kendi called Stamped from the Beginning. This version was written for a young adult audience.

Summary of the book
The first thing the author tells you is that this isn’t a history book. And it isn’t. What it shows you is the other side of what we have been taught about our history in school.

Reaction to the book
I enjoyed the read and found the book to be very informative. The remix was written in a very engaging way for teens and young adults. It tells the history of our country from a different angle. It’s like a court case, this book gives a chance to hear all sides of the case before we can confirm what actually happened. It seems like we have always had our history told from only one side. I would recommend this book for the young adult audience, however, adults, be ready to talk about it. They will have questions about why we let politics and the economy dictate how we treated citizens of our country. When I think about it, people protect what they have and don’t want it to change. They were taught not to trust these citizens, even though, these citizens wanted the same things out of their life in America as they did.

Link to the authors
If you want to learn more about the authors, here are the links to their websites – Jason Reynolds Website and Ibram X. Kendi Website

Link to the book
If you want to purchase this book, here’s a link to Amazon Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You. Or, you could go to Bookshop.org and purchase your book through your favorite independent book seller.

After reading this book, it made me approach the history of our country from a different perspective. It is like when three people see the same event. Each one has their own version of what happened. I’m not trying to discount any one version as being less important, we just need to be open minded to the other versions of the same story to form our opinion on what really happened.

The internet has given us the opportunity to see those additional sides of a story. For example, we’re able to get online and see what happened in France yesterday, basically real time. But, you can’t believe everything you read either. Some of these “sides” of the story can be exaggerated just to get your attention. Or, are told before the reporting agency has all of the facts, just to be the first one to get the story out there.

Writing for the teen/young adult market is kind of a group of readers that is forgotten about. There are many children’s and adult books out there. Teens are a hard group to reach. Many of them will tell you that they don’t even read the books they are assigned for class. But, maybe those books aren’t as engaging as they need to be? Or are written in a language that’s really relatable to them?

Authors can take the challenge of engaging teens to read through the books they write. I hope my books, The Hard Way and soon to be published, Shawn’s Way, are resources for teens to go to when they need help working through the challenges they are facing. Here is a link for you to pick up a copy of The Hard Way, a teen novel which discusses the challeneges of peer pressure and choosing the right friends. The Hard Way by Selma P. Verde

What books would you suggest as good resources for teens? Please let me know in the comments below.

Have a great week!