A collection of biographical stories and poems about fascinating people in history whose real dreams made a real difference. Developed in performance, these stories bring old tales to life for contemporary readers in a way that is both entertaining and informative.
Martha Cinader, a published writer and recording artist, has shared stories and poetry with audiences in libraries, schools and nightclubs and at jazz and theatre festivals in America and Europe.
Currently living in Greenville SC, with her husband and three sons, she blogs about being a virgin homesteader, among other things. Her forthcoming novel, Marvelina, is a fairytale for grown women.
Many people might have heard of Josephine Baker, and think of her as a glamorous star of Paris. They might even know that she was a war hero, or that long before Ray Charles refused to sing for a segregated audience Josephine Baker turned down a lucrative contract (even by today's standards) from the Copa Cabana, until they abolished their segregationist policies. What most people don't know is that she was born into miserable conditions that forced her family to send her off to a woman who treated her like a slave. After the woman plunged her hands into scalding water, she had a mystical experience that guided her actions throughout the rest of her life.
The little girl’s family called her Tumpy. They were so poor that they had been forced to send her away to work for those clothes. One evening Little Tumpy put some water on the fire for Mean Old Mistress’ tea. Little Tumpy was so tired she fell asleep in the chair, waiting for the water to boil.
“Wake up you lazy no good girl!” she yelled at her.
“I’ll put your hands in this boiling water. That’ll teach you a lesson!”
Little Tumpy ran down to the cellar and prayed to the Great Lord.
“Dear Lord please let me die. I’m too miserable to live.”
Well, when the Great Lord wants something done upon this earth he calls upon his favorite children to do it. Little Tumpy saw a shining light. Inside the light she saw the Great Lord with his arms outstretched. He was smiling at her and he pinned a golden crown to her head with a star.
Little Tumpy woke up in the hospital with her mother crying at her bedside. She went home with her to the ghetto of St. Louis, Missouri.