Insight News

Saturday
Aug 30th

Sylvia Booker Little: Unsung She-ro

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wewinsylicaSo many children are unaware of the examples of great leadership, knowledge and sacrifice that so many men and women have made in Minneapolis’ African American communities. Every week WE WIN Institute brings in a new African leader from the Twin Cities to teach the children about what they do and how they have made a difference in the world. Children had the opportunity to learn about Sylvia Booker Little who is an opera singer, mother and advocate for children and seniors. Students read a biography of Little, answered questions and drew pictures of her.

Little talked about her life, experiences as an opera singer, and her mission in life, which is to help feed the hungry and assist youth in realizing their dreams. She offered any child in the program who helps with training their voices or needed extra help learning the piano that she would be willing to work with them. Children listened to music and watched a video of Little in concert.

Children had an abundance of questions to ask her including, “What do you like most about music?” and, “Was it hard to learn how to play the piano at such a young age?” Little had a great time answering questions and telling the children more exciting facts about herself. Two students, Karriona Drain and Devante Moore shared what they learned about Sylvia B. Little.

Sylvia Booker Little
By: Karriona Drain

Sylvia Booker Little was born in Sioux Falls, SD on April 22, 1930. She was one of the first African American children to be born in Sioux Falls. When Mrs. Little went to elementary, junior high, she was the only Black person in all of her classes. In high school there were only 4 Black students and 2 of them were her brothers.

Mrs. Little loves music; when she was four-years-old, she started playing the piano. I would love to learn how to play the piano. Mrs. Little said she would like me to learn it. Mrs. Little also loves to sing. She has been asked to sing all over Minnesota and the United States. At Sabathani Community Center in south Minneapolis, she sang for Coretta Scott King. I think it would have been really cool if I could have sang for Mrs. King before she died.

Mrs. Little was honored with a proclamation from the city of Minneapolis and by the state of Minnesota for all the great work she has done for the last 80 years. I am so proud of all she has done to make things better for both children and for the senior citizens. She could retire, but she still keeps helping people.

Mrs. Little believes that all children should learn about their history and culture. She learned that her ancestors came from South Africa many, many years ago and that her family is part of the Zulu culture. Keep up the good work Mrs. Little!


Sylvia Booker Little
By: Davant Moore, 8-years-old

My first time meeting Sylvia B Little was the best day ever. This is because she is Ms. Titilayo Bediako’s mom; Ms. Bediako is the director of WE WIN Institute. Mrs. Little helps support WE WIN. She works with the Greater Country Food Bank. Mrs. Little makes sure that senior citizens get food every single week. She also makes sure that kids at WE WIN get food, too. It makes her feel bad when people are hungry.

Mrs. Little has met famous people like Maya Angelou, Coretta Scott King, President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Joe Biden. Mrs. Little can also sing Opera really good. She has sang for many people including former governor Jesse Ventura. The most important message that Mrs. Little gave us is that children should never give up on their dreams and that we should always give our best. I might ask Mrs. Little to teach me some songs on the piano.

Mrs. Little really cares about people and I think it is great that she makes sure people always have food to eat. She thinks that it is great that WE WIN Institute has a garden and that lots of food comes from it.
 

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