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Amazing Grace

22 January 2009

If you read the Washington Post, you already know who Eugene Allen is.

Mr. Allen served as a butler at the White House for more than 30 years. He began his career at a time when even in the most powerful building in Washington, he came to work through a separate entrance.  On Tuesday, Mr. Allen, his son and daughter-in-law sat on the dais among the dignitaries. He and his family had “front-row seats” with some of the most powerful people of our time: President and Mrs. Carter, whom he worked for; and many of the people he served: then Vice President George H.W. Bush, General Colin Powell, and countless others, I’m sure.

Wil Haygood wrote this article on November 7, 2008 and then followed it up with this one yesterday. Mr. Allen and his family received invitations to the Inauguration because of Haygood’s first article. Mr. Allen’s wife Helene wanted to be part of history and vote for Barack Obama. She passed over in her sleep on November 3, 2008.

This is a piece of children’s literature waiting to be written. It has a sense of  history and time; contrasts in power and culture; examples of perseverance,  love, loss, and hope.   What do you think?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 22 January 2009 10:30 am

    Thank you so much for sharing.
    Fantastic story… and you are right, great kids book!
    Just forwarded the story to many friends.

  2. 22 January 2009 1:27 pm

    I teared up reading the post-election article, but I had no idea there had been a follow-up. Thanks for sharing!

    And I’m with you on the kidlit perspective. I can see Kadir Nelson doing something beautiful with it.

  3. readingtub permalink
    22 January 2009 5:11 pm

    Anna – Thank you for sharing the story. It is just wonderful.

    Sarah – Oh, yes! I get chill bumps thinking of Kadir Nelson doing the illustrations.

  4. readingtub permalink
    22 January 2009 5:13 pm

    Alas! It will be a movie first. Drat!


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