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: Born Famous
Chapter 2: Why Aren’t Black People Treated as Equals?
Chapter 3: Why Delphine?
Chapter 4: Just Because I’m Black?
Chapter 5: What Happens Next?
Chapter 6: Who Wouldn’t Cry?
How You Can Persist
References Chapter 1Born Famous
On September 5, 1939, before Claudette Colvin became Claudette Colvin, her family didn’t know what they would call her. But once they saw her perfectly high cheekbones, they named her after Claudette Colbert, the famed high-cheekboned actress and well-loved beauty.
One Claudette was Black and one was white. One Claudette was from Birmingham, Alabama, and one lived in Hollywood, California. But only one Claudette’s brave stand for civil rights would push her into the spotlight by the time she was fifteen years old. And that Claudette was Claudette Colvin.
Copyright © 2021 by Lesa Cline-Ransome 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.