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When We Were Free to BeLooking Back at a Children's Classic and the Difference It Made$
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Lori Rotskoff and Laura L. Lovett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807837238

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807837559_rotskoff

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(p.13) Prologue
When We Were Free to Be

Marlo Thomas

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explains that Free to Be … You and Me came about as the author was trying to do something for one little girl. That it would grow to become a cultural phenomenon was never a part of the plan. It has been forty years since Free to Be first arrived in homes across America as entertainment for children. Though its journey since then has been, to say the least, remarkable, the author has never been able to pinpoint precisely how it took root as a cross-generational touchstone. What the author has had is an enormous amount of anecdotal evidence. The author traveled from city to city performing in plays and raising funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In every town the author visits, she receives letters from teachers inviting her to see their classes' stage productions of Free to Be. As often as the author can, she attends them, and has always been knocked out by the spirit of the children and their complete grasp of the material.

Keywords:   cultural phenomenon, entertainment for children, cross-generational touchstone, anecdotal evidence, St. Jude, Children's Research Hospital

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