|Moving forward : from space-age rides to Civil Rights sit-ins with Airman Alton Yates|
Author: Barton, Chris
A picture book biography on Alton Yates, a Black man who served in the Air Force in the 1950s and contributed to key research on flight safety for pilots and passengers. After returning home, Alton dedicated his life to standing against Jim Crow and fighting for racial equality.
The Hornbook (12/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/15/2021 This is the story of Alton Yates, a Black man who grew up in Jim Crow Florida. Inspired by a school visit from Daniel “Chappie” James, the first Black four-star general, Yates joined the Air Force in 1955 and worked with a then-new agency called NASA. Yates participated in hazardous experiments that helped engineers develop safety measures (seat belts and lunar space suits). After an honorable discharge, he drove home through the Deep South, experiencing horrible racism. This inspired him to become a civil rights activist, but he was severely injured during a 1960 sit-in at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in North Carolina. At this point, the narrative suddenly jumps forward 57 years, and readers see Yates reminiscing at his kitchen table with the author, who heard Yates’ story on public radio. Young readers may be confused by the abrupt time shift, but this is an important narrative deserving of a wide audience. The illustrations are especially effective, and there’s a helpful time line and explanatory back matter. Use this as a read-aloud and conversation starter. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.