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The Leader of the Club From Nowhere
Pies From Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained The Montgomery Bus Boycott by Dee Romito is such a fabulous read! This woman and her story is another one I have never heard of before, but oh my goodness is this proof that good food can change things.
The book begins with the arrest of Rosa Parks, and the boycott of the buses by the Black community as a result. Unsurprisingly, the treatment of the Black members of the Montgomery, Alabama, community was systemic and oppressive.
Georgia recognized that she would be able to raise funds to buy gas and station wagons (for the carpool system the boycotters developed) by selling baked goods. The orders got to be too much for just her to handle, so she recruited other women to help. To protect everyone’s safety (because anyone found to be helping the boycott could lose their jobs), she insisted the delicacies came “from nowhere.”
She befriended the Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and he held meetings in her home, and encouraged her to go into business for herself after she lost her job testifying about her awful treatment by the Montgomery bus drivers.
The back of the book has her pound cake recipe, and the one cake features a pound of butter and two pounds of sugar, it’s no wonder it was a popular item.
Your Daily Life Habits Can Be Gifts
One thing I appreciated about this book (aside from a solid vocabulary lesson for my oldest) was the focus on Georgia’s love of cooking and how she could use that passion to make such a difference standing up for what she believed in. She found a way to help using her gifts. The money she raised doing what she already loved doing helped fuel the boycott (literally!) until segregation of the bus systems was ended.
This was my absolute favorite book for connecting history for my boys. Georgia frequently hosted the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in her home. That reminded us of reading My Brother Martin, and how we watched the “I Have a Dream” speech. I told the boys that the speech occurred in Washington D.C. during President Kennedy’s administration. They remembered that President Kennedy was mentioned in the book Hidden Figures that we read recently too. To see them be able to place all of these people within historical context was so fun. I love when we can see a big picture of a story.
And we are definitely making Georgia’s pound cake recipe.
It’s written for early elementary, but both my preschooler and my first grader enjoyed this book.
Update: we made the pound cake and it was delicious!
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