The poetry of children in Birmingham, Alabama, inspired a recent classical music piece titled “Dream, Child. Hope.” It was composed by Adolphus Hailstork (Old Dominion University), in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Hailstork has written music for a number of prestigious ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony. But his influences sometimes come from unlikely places. Also featured: Food tins with discriminatory logos. Toys that caricature African Americans. Slave shackles and Klan robes. These artifacts of slavery and its aftermath have drawn the attention of entertainers like Oprah Winfrey, Whoopie Goldberg, and Bill Cosby, who have become collectors of racist ephemera. Joining their ranks are Therbia Parker and his wife Marva, who use their extensive collection to educate people about racism in America.

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