As Black History Month comes to an end, we wanted to share this inspiring guest post from debut author Madhvi Ramani.
One of the highlights of the London Olympics was watching Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, run the 100 metre race.
For me, the greatest athlete of all time is Jesse Owens, who competed at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. At that time, Hitler was in power and wanted to use the games to prove that the Aryans – white, Nordic people characterised by fair hair and blue eyes – were superior to other races. Owens destroyed this myth when he won the 100 metres, 200 metres, 4x100metre relay and the long jump, setting three world records.
Jesse Owens faced racism at home in the USA as well as in Hitler’s Germany. For example, he was not allowed to stay in the same hotels as his fellow white athletes. Upon returning home after winning 4 gold medals, New York City honoured him with a parade and reception. However, to get to his own party, he had to use the service elevator at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel where it was being held.
Unlike the white American athletes, who were invited to meet President Roosevelt after the games, Jesse Owens and the other black American athletes were never even sent a telegram of congratulations.
It’s amazing that under such circumstances, Jesse Owens was able to strive and win. The way that he described running can inspire us in our own lives:
“You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.”
I think of that whenever I walk down the long street near the Olympic Stadium in Berlin that was named after him.
by Madhvi Ramani.
Madhvi Ramani’s debut children’s book Nina and the Travelling Spice Shed is out now!
This week Olympic silver medalist Christine Ohuruogu, helped us celebrate Black History Month with a wonderful day of events in East London. Fans were able to ask Christine questions and have their copies of Camp Gold signed.
In the morning she spoke to hundreds of fans at the Stratford Picture House before moving onto Redbridge Primary School. She was given a more than warm welcome by the students who had made a giant banner for her.
Christine was kind enough to let the students (and some members of staff!) try on her silver medal. We can confirm that it’s very heavy!
It was a fantastic day with a sporting superstar. What more could we ask for?
Don’t you sometimes wish you could skip all those long, boring journeys and just get from one place to another at the click of a button?
In my book Nina and the Travelling Spice Shed, my character discovers a way to do exactly that! Just imagine being able to go anywhere in world in an instant! Impossible! I hear you cry, but there are scientists working on it at this very moment. It’s called teleportation.
Teleportation means that you would be able to get from one place to another in seconds.
This year, scientists have been able to teleport a teeny particle called a photon a distance of 140 kilometres. It’s still a long way from people being able to get around without using cars, buses, trains, and planes, but it’s a start.
So, what would you use teleportation for? To get to school in the mornings? To go to a warm sandy beach? The North Pole? Maybe even the moon?
Right now, I would teleport myself to the kitchen to make a nice cup of tea…
You can follow Madhvi on Twitter at @madhviramani and Tamarind at @TamarindBooks
Download the latest Children’s Reading Partners Chatterbooks poster featuring Nina and the Travelling Spice Shed here.