The following collection of thematically related readings is available
in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and Related Readings
in McDougal Littell's Literature Connections series.
"A Conspiracy of Grace" by Ethel Morgan Smith
(from Grand Mothers, © 1994)
Summary: The author recalls her grandmother, a wise and resourceful
woman who had more than enough strength and love to go around.
"It's such a Pleasure to Learn" by Wallace Terry
(from Parade Magazine, © 1990)
Summary: This is a character sketch of John Morton-Finney, the son of
a former slave who is over 100 years old and has earned 11 degrees.
"Keeping the Thing Going While Things Are Stirring" by Sojourner
Summary: The indomitable crusader for equal rights speaks out for African-American
"To be of use" by Marge Piercy, © 1982
Summary: This poem celebrates the beauty of hard work and those who
"Booker T. and W.E.B." by Dudley Randall
(from Poem Counterpoem, © 1966)
Summary: A poet takes a lighthearted look at the conflict between two
Excerpt from Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100
Years by Amy Hill Hearth,© 1993
Summary: Two remarkable sisters, both over 100, share sharp and surprising
reflections on growing up in the post-Civil War South.
"The First Time I Sat in a Restaurant" by Jo Carson
(from Stories I Ain't Told Nobody Yet, © 1989)
Summary: Based on an overheard conversation, this poem reveals one private
face of the long struggle for civil rights.
"The Great White Myth" by Anna Quindlen
(from Living Out Loud, © 1987)
Summary: An insightful and outspoken essayist examines a bitter controversy
of the 1990s.
"The Old Demon" by Pearl S. Buck
(from Cosmopolitan Magazine, © 1939)
Summary: In this classic short story, a Chinese grandmother reveals—or perhaps discovers—an unexpected facet of her character.