Tag: race

Inspiring Book from Boston Marathon Race Director Teaches Lesson about Perseverance

Forty-one years ago, Dave McGillivray completed his historic race across the U.S. for the Jimmy Fund. His race ended in Fenway Park in Boston, and now he organizes a yearly marathon inside the stadium. McGillivray’s accomplishments as a distance runner and race organizer are unparalleled, and now he’s stepping into the writing world.



Dave Mcgillivray, Author of Running across America, Image Via CBS Boston


McGillivray’s new book, Running Across America, tells the story of his run from Medford, Oregon to Medford, Massachusetts. In an interview at the book’s launch, McGillivray said:

The idea is to teach children about perseverance and setting goals, not limits. Hopefully, it inspires kids to believe in themselves and raise their level of self-confidence.



Fittingly, McGillivray launched the book at Fenway Park, the endpoint of his historic run. In keeping with McGillivray’s charitable spirit, proceeds from the book’s sales go directly to the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation Inc. and the Jimmy Fund.

In addition to launching Running Across America, McGillivray is also renewing his dream big challenge. Kids who read 26 books, run 26 miles, and do 26 random acts of kindness will receive a “dream big medal” from the man himself.

Running Across America officially releases nationwide on September 10th, but it’s already available for preorder right now!



Featured images via CBS Boston and Amazon.com

Halle Bailey Responds to ‘Little Mermaid’ Backlash

There was much controversy when 19-year-old singer and actress Halle Bailey was announced to play Ariel in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid back in early July.


Halle Bailey

Image Via Variety


While there were plenty of positive comments and praises for the young actress, many reacted with fervor and rage. The comments were largely racial, criticizing that Ariel should be white and red-headed, like the original animated movie, instead of being played by a black actress.



Let’s go through some history first. Danish author Hans Christian Andersen’s short story of the same name was adapted for the movie. In that adaptation process, many things were changed.


'Little Mermaid' Short Story

Image Via Pinterest


In the short story, Ariel eventually finds herself in a situation where she needed to kill the sleeping prince lying with his new bride. Unable to do it, Ariel threw herself into the water, dissolved into sea foam and became an earthbound spirit. During this, she learns that because of her selflessness, she is given a chance to rise to the Kingdom of God if and only if she does good deeds for mankind for three-hundred years.


Disney's 'The Little Mermaid'

Image Via Metro.co.uk


In the animated movie, she and the Prince take down the evil Ursula and Ariel becomes a human. Changes were made. For perspective, The Little Mermaid isn’t the only Hans Christian Andersen story that was adapted by Disney, the second being Frozen. To list the changes made in that adaptation process would be overwhelming.



Plus, many live-action remakes have been criticized, notably the recent The Lion King remake, for being too similar to their animated counterparts. So maybe some changes are in order. Plus, if Ariel being black isn’t that big of a change, then what’s the big deal anyway?


Halle Bailey

Image Via Scmp.com


Regardless, there was an onslaught of vicious and hateful comments directed towards this young actress. Nevertheless, Halle Bailey has stayed positive. She told Variety at the Power of Young Hollywood gala Tuesday that:


I feel like I’m dreaming and I’m just grateful and I don’t pay attention to the negativity…I just feel like this role was something bigger than me and greater and it’s going to be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.


Personally, I feel that Disney has done a great job with wrapping their classic characters into a cute bundle of nostalgia. As a result, people see characters like Ariel and become more sentimental. Thus it’s harder for people to accept change because of that emotional attachment. But you know what?


Change is good.

Image Via Upliftconnect.com


Change is good, so rock on Halle!



Featured Image Via Hollywood Reporter

Collage of items for sale

‘Little Women’ Goes Modern With Multicultural Graphic Novel

In honor of Little Women‘s 150th anniversary,  Little, Brown Books Books for Young Readers is revamping Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic with a modern spin. 


The publishing company is collaborating with Tapas Media to bring color to the pages of this classic with a new graphic novel which will feature a muilticultural version of the March family.


150 years after Little Women enchanted readers everywhere, audiences across the world have become immersed in more diversified cultures and will find themselves better able to identify with the March family ever more than before.



Image Via Bre Indigo/Tapas Media


Written by Rey Terciero and illustrated by Bre Indigo, this graphic novel, titled Meg, Joe, Beth, and Amy, will honor Alcott’s incredible characters while acknowledging the dramatic cultural shift that has occurred in the last 150 years.


“Bre and I wanted to see ourselves in the characters, too, which is why we made the family diverse,” Terciero said. This representation will go beyond skin color, however, as the graphic novel will also feature an LGBTQ character.

Terciero comments:


I wanted to play with the subtext that may not have been available 150 years ago, but that we can speak openly about these days. Being LGBT myself, I’m just happy to be creating a book that I wish I could have read as a young reader.



Image Via Bre Indigo/Tapas Media


Mirroring Alcott’s version, the graphic novel will dive into some heavy topics including sexuality, maturity, sisterhood, identity, and more. However, the colorful illustrations will help to bring light to the dark matters and maintain an uplifting tone.


“It’s also very PG, and very sweet,” Terciero said. “I wanted to be sensitive with the heavy topics while staying true to Alcott’s vision of empowering young women.”



Image Via Bre Indigo/Tapas Media


Indigo spoke of her desire to see modern audiences find a new reliability in the diverse characters.


She said:


Meg, Joe, Beth, and Amy have so much in common with today’s youth and hopefully when young readers pick up the book they can find themselves in the girls and apply their growth to their own lives. My personal goal as an artist is to help others to embrace empathy, to relate to one another and grow as individuals. And I think our book does just that.


Meg, Joe, Beth, and Amy will premiere as an episodic series online, with the first episode available this week. A paperback version along with e-book editions will be released in November 2018.


Feature Image Via Bre Indigo/Tapas Media

oprah's book club

Oprah to Produce Movie Adaptation of Her Newest Book Club Pick

Philanthropist and talk-show host, Oprah Winfrey, has finally let the word out on her newest pick for Oprah’s Book Club! Her self-titled “must-read” club can certainly be called a staple of American culture since she crafted and executed the idea in 1996.  Her first pick twenty-two years ago was The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard, and her newest pick is An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. Since June, Oprah fans have been waiting with bated breath for this announcement, and she guarantees you will not be disappointed by this read!



Image Via Workman Publishing


An American Marriage is Jones’ fourth novel, and it follows two newlyweds: Roy and Celestial. After Roy is charged with a crime that he did not commit, he is thrown into prison for twelve years and his young wife is left alone and afraid. Celestial begins forming a close relationship with Roy’s old friend and best man, Andre, in an effort to find comfort during her suddenly dark days. Jones suggests that the novel is very much a love triangle, but also reimagines and redefines what we might think of as a traditional American love story. Jones also hopes that the novel will showcase the horrifying repercussions of what prison can do to a family and the loved ones left behind. 


tayari jones

Image Via USA Today


An American Marriage is published by Algonquin Books, and Tayari Jones remains a professor at Rutgers-Newark. In addition to fully endorsing Jones’ newest novel, Oprah intends to produce a film adaptation through her production company, Harpo Films. Oprah has nothing but praise and admiration for the novelist’s latest work, and completely insists that you will not be disappointed by the love triangle that ensues after a hiccup in the system sends an innocent man to prison. 




Feature Image Via Oprah.com

Toni Morrison

Nobel Prize-Winner Toni Morrison’s New Book Links Past, Present, and Future

This insanely talented author has something incredible for us.


Or maybe it’s a lot of things in one.


The award-winning Morrison recently released her new book The Origin of Others (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures) and we have no doubt it will be as classic as the rest of her work.


Toni Morrison

Image Via Amazon


It was back in the Spring of 2016 that Morrison delivered a series of Norton Lectures within Harvard University touching on subjects of race, literature, human fears, and social movements. Now those lectures have become six essays stitched together in one eye-opening volume.


Toni Morrison

Image Via CNN


Morrison takes a hard look at the concept of otherness within her own novels, such as Beloved and Paradise. She pulls from the rich history of setbacks and victories of race in America. She also looks at the nineteenth-century efforts to romanticize slavery in the literary world. By drawing on Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ernest Hemingway, and William Faulkner, among other authors, Morrison is able to provide various viewpoints a megaphone.


Once again she gives us something that will launch our thoughts back in time while still firmly aware of contemporary issues.


Feature Image Via Highbrow