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For Black History Month, Bass shares ‘Seeds of Freedom’ at West Madison

Hester Bass, at left, discussed and gave an audiovisual presentation about her book, "Seeds of Freedom," with fourth-graders at West Madison Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Hester Bass, at left, discussed and gave an audiovisual presentation about her book, “Seeds of Freedom,” with fourth-graders at West Madison Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Coinciding with Black History Month’s start, author Hester Bass discussed her book, “Seeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville” at West Madison Elementary School on Feb. 2.

Meeting with West Madison third- and fourth-graders, Bass explained her book’s true story of the Civil Rights movement in Alabama. Accomplished artist E.B. Lewis illustrated her nonfiction picture book.

“We had a ‘Meet the Author’ time,” West Madison media specialist Emily B. Wolfe said. “Students purchased copies of her book, and Ms. Bass personally autographed each one.”

Bass’ family lived in Huntsville from 2003-2013. Three years later, she was on an author’s visit to Huntsville. At a private school, she noticed a historical marker citing “Alabama’s first case of “‘reverse integration.’ That sent me to the public library, where I discovered that the first integrated public school in Alabama was also in Huntsville.”

Both events occurred in September 1963.

In her book, Bass said, “While violence in other communities surrounded them, the black citizens of Huntsville organized one peaceful protest after another, and the white citizens remained committed to nonviolence as well.”

Bass believes integration remained peaceful in Huntsville because “African-Americans had to keep trying no matter what, the white establishment had to eventually realize that their traditional society was grossly unfair. Both sides had to remain committed to nonviolence.”

“Through courage, creativity and cooperation, Huntsville integrated peacefully, providing an example for children today of how racial discrimination, bullying and unfairness can be faced successfully with perseverance and ingenuity,” Bass said.

“Seeds of Freedom” received a starred review in “Publishers Weekly,” along with praise from the Junior Library Guild and the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.

Reared in rural Georgia, Bass received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Simmons College in Boston. She has worked in Massachusetts as a writer and voiceover talent in advertising. Bass now lives in Sante Fe, N.M.

For more information, send email to hester@hesterbass.com or visit hesterbass.com.

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