Picture Books

Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Picture book. By Dee Romito. Illustrated by Laura Freeman. 40 pp. 2018.
The story of Georgia Gilmore and the Club from Nowhere, a grassroots project to provide food and funds for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Time Periods: Cold War: 1945 - 1960
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Environment & Food

This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of Georgia Gilmore and the Club from Nowhere — a grassroots project to provide food and funds for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Here is a description of Gilmore’s work by Premilla Nadasen from Beacon:

Gilmore founded the Club from Nowhere, an organization of maids, service workers, and cooks seeking to aid the boycott. The name was an attempt to shield members from the consequences of openly supporting the boycott.

“Some colored folks or Negroes could afford to stick out their necks more than others because they had independent incomes,” Gilmore explained, “but some just couldn’t afford to be called ‘ring leaders’ and have the white folks fire them.

So when we made our financial reports to the MIA officers we had them record us as the money coming from nowhere. ‘The Club from Nowhere.’” Only Gilmore knew who made and bought the food and who donated money.

The underground network of cooks went door-to-door selling sandwiches, pies, and cakes, and collecting donations. The proceeds were then turned over to boycott leaders. Donations came from whites as well as blacks. That “was very nice of the people because so many of the people who didn’t attend the mass meetings would give the donation to help keep the carpool going.” Continue reading.

This children’s book does an excellent job of describing Gilmore’s work and the day-to day-challenges faced by the organizers of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. One thing that could have made Pies from Nowhere even better would be if it had named other organizers besides Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.

Published by Little Bee Books | ISBN: 9781499807202

Learn More

Eyes on the Prize interview transcript with Georgia Gilmore (February 17, 1986)

The Club From Nowhere: Cooking for Civil Rights. NPR series: Hidden Kitchens: The Kitchen Sisters (March, 2005)

Georgia Gilmore, Overlooked Activist of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. By Premilla Nadasen, Beacon Broadside, March 18, 2016