Special Photo. Evelyn Coleman signs a copy of her book "To Be a Drum." Gwinnett residents can meet the award-winning children's book author during an event Feb. 20 in Snellville hosted by the Gwinnett County Public Library.
SNELLVILLE -- Evelyn Coleman recalls Sundays spent at her grandmother's house as a child, when her family would gather to listen to her tell stories.
"I was my family's storyteller," Coleman said. "I believe it may have been because I was the only little girl in this family and my brother was the only little boy, we were the only children in my family, so they just divided all of their attention between the two of us. I have to say it was an idyllic childhood, to say the least."
Storytelling has continued to be a part of the Atlanta resident's life, a talent she has shared with her family and those who have read any of her books. The award-winning children's book author will share stories about her experiences as a writer and discuss her books during a meet-the-author event Saturday hosted by the Gwinnett County Public Library held in celebration of Black History Month.
"I will talk a little bit about writing and what it takes to publish and the type of research I do," Coleman said, "because I do extensive research for every book I do, whether it's fiction or non-fiction."
Families who attend the event can take home a free copy of her book "White Socks Only," while supplies last, which tells the story of a young girl living in segregated Mississippi who faces discrimination after drinking from a fountain with a sign stating "Whites only."
"She believes, because she's a little girl, that she has to have on all white," Coleman said. "She has on all white except for her black, patented leather shoes, so she takes them off and gets a drink of water."
Coleman will also discuss her book "Freedom Train," which follows a train that traveled to 322 cities across the country from 1947 to 1949 carrying the most precious documents in U.S. history, including the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence, for American citizens to see. The train spent two days in Atlanta after the city of Birmingham refused to integrate its lines to board the train.
"Some southern cities did not get the train because of that," Coleman said.
Gwinnett residents can hear more about "Freedom Train" and "White Socks Only" at 2 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Centerville Community Center, 3025 Bethany Church Road in Snellville. The meet-the-author event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 770-978-5154 or visit www.gwinnettpl.org.