As Sally Ride and Marian Wright Edelman both powerfully said, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” When Sally Ride said that, she meant that it was hard to dream of being an astronaut, like she was, or a doctor or an athlete or anything at all if you didn’t see someone like you who already had lived that dream. She especially was talking about seeing women in jobs that historically were held by men.
I wrote the first She Persisted
and the books that came after it because I wanted young girls—and children of all genders—to see women who worked hard to live their dreams. And I wanted all of us to see examples of persistence in the face of different challenges to help inspire us in our own lives.
I’m so thrilled now to partner with a sisterhood of writers to bring longer, more in-depth versions of these stories of women’s persistence and achievement to readers. I hope you enjoy these chapter books as much as I do and find them inspiring and empowering.
And remember: If anyone ever tells you no, if anyone ever says your voice isn’t important or your dreams are too big, remember these women. They persisted and so should you.
Warmly,Chelsea ClintonTABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1: Bright-Eyed Girl
Chapter 2: The North Star’s Diamond Light
Chapter 3: Dreams of Freedom
Chapter 4: Bound for the Promised Land
Chapter 5: The Woman Called Moses
Chapter 6: The Power of Progress
How You Can Persist
References Chapter 1Bright-Eyed Girl
When Harriet Green gave birth to her daughter, she held that baby close, whispered a sweet hello, and loved the child with all her heart. The newborn’s father, Benjamin Ross, most likely cradled his tiny daughter. He was as proud as any daddy could be.
The baby was born on a night so dark, you couldn’t see past its black. But the light in that child’s eyes was brighter than bright. She had a twinkle about her that shone like the sky’s prettiest stars.
Nobody knows the exact date this bright-eyed girl came into the world. She was born at a time when not everyone recorded birthdays. It was sometime between 1820 and 1822. Though no one remembers the precise year, one thing’s for certain: this girl grew up to become a great lady whose bravery and grit persisted her whole life, and inspired others to follow.
Copyright © 2021 by Andrea Davis Pinkney with introduction by Chelsea Clinton; illustrated by Alexandra Boiger and Gillian Flint. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.