Day 14: Sharon E. Langley

Photo by Heidi Hart

Sharon E. Langley is living history–a civil rights figure since the age of eleven months, when she and her parents became the first to officially desegregate the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Baltimore, Maryland on August 28, 1963. Today, Sharon  is an author and elementary educator. Her debut picture book, A RIDE TO REMEMBER (co-authored with Amy Nathan and illustrated by Floyd Cooper), tells the story of her family’s contribution to the civil rights movement. Sharon has taught grades pre-K through 6, and has served as an Elementary Literacy Coach supporting culturally relevant and responsive literature for all students, so that all may see their stories and selves in the books they read. She often writes educational guides for published titles, helping educators introduce new topics for discussion and reflection. On Day 14 of 28 Days Later, we celebrate author Sharon E. Langley.

My Journey to Publication

Over 10 years ago, I was contacted by a writer who wanted to interview me about my family’s story and contribution to the integration of our local amusement park. Amy Nathan and I talked regularly by phone and communicated by email for the next three years. She did publish a book ROUND AND ROUND TOGETHER which included all of the social underpinnings of moving a city, Baltimore toward an integrated place for all its citizens. However, the more we talked, the more I felt that my students, I was teaching 3rd grade at the time, could and would understand the story if we pared it down to its core message of fairness vs. unfairness…every elementary age student can understand these concepts. Together, we wrote a picture book manuscript which became A RIDE TO REMEMBER.


Family oral history is such a valuable jewel. I’d grown up knowing about our family’s day at Gwynn Oak Amusement Park.   Writing about others who helped push the park toward integration was inspiring…many children and adult allies were involved.  Once the previous owners of the carousel learned about its role in history, they refurbished the horse I rode and placed a commemorative plaque on the surrounding fence.  The Smithsonian Institute has since purchased the carousel for renovation…it will open Summer 2026.  I’m looking forward to new generations of children enjoying a ride with history on the side!

Benefit of Being an Amplify Cohort Member

Camaraderie! Writing can be a solitary endeavor…being an Amplify cohort member is having writing (and illustrating) friends to share the journey.

Learn more about or connect with Sharon online:


Instagram: @sharonlangley

TikTok: @sharonlangley

X (formerly Twitter): @sharonelangley

For author visits or educational consultancy, email Sharon at

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