Last weekend, Whitney LB Miller, author of “Henry Boyd’s Freedom Bed,” was invited to read her new book at a Saturday morning children’s event. We suggested she film it but – reporting star that she is (she’s currently on the air with Cincinnati’s WCPO television station) – Whitney got a much better story.
After he was done reading, Bouna talked with Whitney about his reactions to “Henry Boyd:” “I like it ’cause he was a person that wanted to have freedom for other people to have rights as well…he wanted to make stuff for other people so they can have a good life…He wants to help people that are people that are slaves and take them out of slavery….”
Now I’m not a very emotional person, but when I saw video of kids reading and reacting to Whitney’s book, well, I teared up. (Anyone who doesn’t think representation matters is likely already well represented.) Visit her Instagram to see more; the link is to the one that tugged my heartstring the most (so far).
It’s a good story for kids of all ages – the first book dedicated entirely to the deeds of an incredible former enslaved person, who became one of Cincinnati’s most important 19th-century furniture makers. Whitney (who also illustrated the book!) wrote it to inspire a new generation of woodworkers, and show how creativity and hard work can lead to a good and important life.