Belle, the Last Mule at Gee's Bend
In Gee's Bend, Alabama, Miz Pettway tells young Alex about the historic role her mule played in the struggle for civil rights led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Includes factual information about the community of Gee's Bend and Martin Luther King, Jr.
AgeAdd Age Suitability
SummaryAdd a Summary
Alex is bored. His mom has dragged him along to Gee’s Bend so that she can buy a quilt, but while she’s doing so he’s stuck on an old porch with nothing to look at but an old mule chomping on somebody’s garden of collard greens. When an old woman joins him on the bench and introduces herself as Miz Pettway Alex inquires as to why the mule is allowed to eat all the greens it wants. She explains that Belle isn’t just any old mule. Back in the day when segregation was rampant Dr. Martin Luther King visited Gee’s Bend. After encouraging the residents to take the ferry the people find that the white folks in Camden across the river are so intent to deny the vote that they’ve closed down the ferry. Undeterred the Benders had their mules pull them along and around the river the long way. Later when Dr. King died, Belle and a mule named Ada were selected to pull his coffin along its funeral route. Of course state policeman tried to stop the mules from arriving, but when it was clear that there would be a national incident if the mules were not taken to the funeral, state troopers escorted the animals the rest of the way. That is why Belle, for all that she’s a mule, is important. As Alex himself says, “even an old mule can be a hero.” An Author’s Note explaining the true history of this incident alongside a photograph of the actual mules pulling Dr. King’s coffin, is included at the end.
NoticesAdd a Notice
There are no notices for this title yet.
QuotesAdd a Quote
VideosAdd a Video
There are no videos for this title yet.
Find it at MCLLoading...
Please keep in mind that some of the content that we make available to you through this application comes from Amazon Web Services. All such content is provided to you "as is". This content and your use of it are subject to change and/or removal at any time.