Papa’s Mark by Gwendolyn Battle-Lavert

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Papa’s Mark by Gwendolyn Battle-Lavert, is a picture book that tells the story of one African-American man getting to cast his vote for the first time after the Fifteenth Amendment, through the eyes of his son. The father is taught how to write his name by his son, so that he can cast his vote on Election Day. This book is great as a starting place for looking at this period in African-American history, especially as it includes an epilogue to tell the curious reader more about the history behind the first votes of men like Samuel T. Blow. The dense oil illustrations in this book, painted by illustrator Colin Bootman, are rich but still a little dark, evoking the depth and weight of the times in which the book is set.

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