Nurturing Peace and Harmony

Yellow Springs author Virginia Hamilton left a legacy of cultural understanding and respect.

Chrystal Carr Jeter, community outreach services manager for the Cleveland Public Library, gently opens the book she credits with changing the course of children’s literature: Zeely, by Yellow Springs native Virginia Hamilton. It’s the tale of a young girl who is captivated by a regal black woman who carries her heritage proudly for all to emulate.

“When I was growing up, books often portrayed my race in ways that were horribly degrading,” Jeter says softly. “But in 1967, after I graduated from high school, I was introduced to this book, Virginia’s first. I was awed by the fact that the main character looked like an African queen.

“I thought about that,” she muses, “and then I thought about how we all could be African queens, too.” To read more, click here to subscribe. >>