I just love it when a children’s book teaches me something completely new, something I had no idea existed or had never thought of before… Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Dee Romito, illustrated by Laura Freeman, was one of those books for me. Read on to see how Georgia and her group of brave friends became an integral part of the Montgomery Bus Boycott — and why this is a terrific book to read this time of year!
When I think of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, names like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. pop into my head… Not Georgia Gilmore. I had never heard of Georgia Gilmore until a friend recommended this book (thanks, @whatsakidtoread!). But, turns out that Gilmore and her friends, who formed the “Club from Nowhere,” contributed in creative and essential ways to the success of the bus boycott!
One aspect of the bus boycott that I admittedly have never considered before is that they needed decent amounts of money to make the boycott successful. The money went to paying for gas for carpools that were necessary when people weren’t riding the buses, and even to buying station wagons to allow more people to carpool. So, where did that money come from?
Georgia and her friends became one source of this money! When the bus boycott started, Georgia was unsure of how she could help… But she desperately wanted to! So, she thought about her skills and her gifts, which lay in cooking. So, she started to cook! She cooked lunches, dinners, and pies, and sold them at boycott meetings at churches, as well as to people around town… Her customers always paid in cash and her group remained anonymous (Club from Nowhere) so that they couldn’t be connected to aiding the boycott. But their aid was incredibly valuable! Not only was Georgia’s food delicious and physically fueled the community, but the money she raised helped more than she ever imagined.
When Georgia lost her job because of her part as a witness in the bus boycott trials, Dr. King helped her to start her own cooking business. People — black AND white — not only ordered lunches from Georgia, but also came to sit and share food and company in her very own kitchen!
So why do I love Pies from Nowhere this time of year? To me, November and December is a time to gather with family and friends, often over good food. It’s a time to be grateful for our gifts, but to also think about how we can give to others. Georgia Gilmore’s story embodies all of these — community, good foods, gifts, and generosity — and more! So, when you’re working hard in the kitchen next week or having your children help you bake pies, consider grabbing a copy of this book and reading it to your children. You just might learn and be inspired right along with your kids!
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