Black Children's Books & Authors

"Black children need to see their lives reflected in the books they read. If they don't, they won't feel welcome in the world of literature. The lives of African-Americans are rich and diverse, and the books our children read should reflect that."- Valerie Wilson Wesley

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— 3 days ago
#oops  #need glasses  #deleting 
soulbrotherv2:

Fire in a Canebrake: The Last Mass Lynching in America by Laura Wexler
July 25, 1946. In Walton County, Georgia, a mob of white men commit one of the most heinous racial crimes in America’s history: the shotgun murder of four black sharecroppers — two men and two women — at Moore’s Ford Bridge. Fire in a Canebrake, the term locals used to describe the sound of the fatal gunshots, is the story of our nation’s last mass lynching on record. More than a half century later, the lynchers’ identities still remain unknown. 
Drawing from interviews, archival sources, and uncensored FBI reports, acclaimed journalist and author Laura Wexler takes readers deep into the heart of Walton County, bringing to life the characters who inhabited that infamous landscape — from sheriffs to white supremacists to the victims themselves — including a white man who claims to have been a secret witness to the crime.
[book link]

soulbrotherv2:

Fire in a Canebrake: The Last Mass Lynching in America by Laura Wexler

July 25, 1946. In Walton County, Georgia, a mob of white men commit one of the most heinous racial crimes in America’s history: the shotgun murder of four black sharecroppers — two men and two women — at Moore’s Ford Bridge. Fire in a Canebrake, the term locals used to describe the sound of the fatal gunshots, is the story of our nation’s last mass lynching on record. More than a half century later, the lynchers’ identities still remain unknown. 

Drawing from interviews, archival sources, and uncensored FBI reports, acclaimed journalist and author Laura Wexler takes readers deep into the heart of Walton County, bringing to life the characters who inhabited that infamous landscape — from sheriffs to white supremacists to the victims themselves — including a white man who claims to have been a secret witness to the crime.

[book link]

— 3 days ago with 23 notes

Daydreamers
Poetry and portraits of young black children reveal all the beauty in children’s wishes, yearnings, and memories.
Tom Feelings…
attended the George Westinghouse Vocational High School where he majored in Art. After graduation, he received a scholarship to the Cartoonists’ and Illustrators’ School which he attended for two years. Joining the Air Force in 1953, he was stationed in London, England, where he worked in the graphics division of the Third Air Force as a staff artist…continue reading

Daydreamers

Poetry and portraits of young black children reveal all the beauty in children’s wishes, yearnings, and memories.

Tom Feelings…

attended the George Westinghouse Vocational High School where he majored in Art. After graduation, he received a scholarship to the Cartoonists’ and Illustrators’ School which he attended for two years. Joining the Air Force in 1953, he was stationed in London, England, where he worked in the graphics division of the Third Air Force as a staff artist…continue reading

— 3 days ago with 8 notes
#black authors  #black illustrators  #tom feelings  #children's books 

Singing Black: Alternative Nursery Rhymes for Children

Mari Evans

Nursery rhymes, with their simple words and sing-song rhythms have enthralled and excited youngsters for centuries. But most of the best-known rhymes reflect a limited Western perspective…Just Us Books addressed the need for nursery rhymes that represent the true diversity of a child’s world by publishing The Many Colors of Mother Goose which included nursery rhymes from a multicultural perspective. Now, with Singing Black, they present a collection of original short poems by Mari Evans that draw their inspiration from black culture.

One of the leading members of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 70s, Evans is one of America’s prominent black writers. Her work is widely read and taught in black and women’s studies programs. This new version of Singing Black is redesigned and made contemporary for today’s children with simple and bold line drawings by Ramon Price, director of the DuSable Museum in Chicago. But Evans’s poems are as timeless and fresh as they were when the first edition was released. Their bright images of friendship, family, and fun offer an alternative to traditional nursery rhymes that teaches children, especially black children, to feel good about who they are.

— 3 days ago with 38 notes
#black authors  #mari evans  #black culture 

“I’m Late”: The Story of LaNeese and Moonlight and Alisha Who Didn’t Have Anyone of Her Own

Moonlight, she said. I’m pregnant. Moon had started down the steps. He stopped and turned around. You what? I’m pregnant and you know it’s yourse so don’t try t’say it ain’t. Moon stood there not moving, looking dead at her. Well, say something, she said, the words I’m pregnant, hanging in the air between them. Naw you didn’t, he thought. 

Mari Evans…

was a writer in residence at Indiana University-Purdue where she taught courses in African American Literature.  In 1969 she published her first work Where Is All the Music? followed by her more famous I Am a Black Woman (1970).  During this time Evans also worked as a producer, writer, and director of The Black Experience (1968-1973), a history documentary which aired on prime time in Indianapolis.  She also worked  in theatre, adapting the musical Eyes (1979) from Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God as well as writing a choreopoem, River of My Song, and a one-woman theatre piece called Boochie.  While embracing her love for these and other projects, Evans served as a consultant for the National Endowment for the Arts from 1969 to 1970. Evans has published two collections of her poetry, Nightstar: 1973-1978 (1981) and A Dark and Splendid Mass (1992)…continue reading at Black Past

— 3 days ago with 15 notes
#black authors  #mari evans  #children's books  #teen fiction 

Olu’s Dream

It’s time for Olu to lie down in bed, for the little one to sleep, his dad just said. Though Olu would rather play and race, not end the fun, or slow the pace. But as soon as Olu shuts those eyes, catch this—imagination flies!

 

Shane W. Evans…

is the illustrator of more than thirty picture books for children, including The Way a Door Closes by Hope Anita Smith, a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award winner, and the author and illustrator of Olu’s Dream. He has exhibited his art in West Africa and Paris and in Chicago, New York, and other major U.S. cities. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where he runs Dream Studio, a community art space.

— 3 days ago with 7 notes
#black authors  #shane w. evans  #children's books 

The Way a Door Closes

Hope Anita Smith

My best friend, Preacher, is being just that.

His sermon today is on fathers and I am his congregation.
“Dads are light. They have no roots.
One strong wind, and they’re gone.
Out of here. History.”

With a click, a bang, a whisper—or no noise at all. There are so many ways that a door can close, but it’s not just the closing; it’s the knowing. And thirteen-year-old CJ knows too much—about losing his father, about his family’s pain, and especially about what it means to hold things together when times are the toughest.

In this beautifully written and powerfully moving novel in poems, Hope Anita Smith tells the story of a young man’s struggle to accept a father who has walked out on his family. Here, in CJ’s words, is a portrait of hurt and healing, and finding the strength to open the door again. 
The Way a Door Closes is the winner of the 2004 Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe New Talent Award and the 2004 Bank Street - Claudia Lewis Award and is a 2004 Bank Street - Best Children’s Book of the Year.

Keeping the Watch

Hope Anita Smith

So many unanswered questions weigh down thirteen-year-old C.J. as he struggles to understand why his father walked out. His father is back now, though C.J. is not as quick to forgive as the other members of his family. He still feels the weight of responsibility that fell on his shoulders when Daddy was gone, and he’s not prepared to give that up. But C.J.’s anger is making him a stranger in his own home, and instead of life seeming better now that Daddy has returned, it feels worse.
 
Through powerful poems, Hope Anita Smith chronicles the nuanced emotions of a family that is slowly learning to heal and put the pieces back together.

— 3 days ago with 14 notes
#black authors  #hope anita smith 

The Deep 

THE DEEP plunges readers into a dangerous, underground world policed by members of The League, a secret group of women and men who use their intuitive abilities to detect energy surges far below the earth’s surface. In the deep, ancient sources of malevolent energy are bubbling up through the bedrock, and only members of The League know how to detect and seal the leaks that allow evil to enter the world. Nyla Evans knows nothing about the war being waged beneath the city. It has been almost a year since she moved from Ramstein Air Base in Germany to Brooklyn, and Nyla is still searching for a way to belong. It doesn’t help that she has started to hallucinate while walking the city streets, but things get even stranger when a man named Osiris approaches her and offers to introduce Nyla to others who have similar “gifts.” When Nyla refuses, her friend D is kidnapped and held in the deep until Nyla agrees to let Osiris guide her underground. There, miles beneath Brooklyn, Nyla meets Lada-the mother who abandoned her a decade ago. Furious that Nyla is being recruited by The League, Lada tries to prevent her daughter from following in her footsteps. But Nyla feels at home in the deep and her training begins at an accelerated pace when The League discovers an earthquake will soon hit Brooklyn, releasing unprecedented levels of malevolent energy into the city. THE DEEP is the companion book to SHIP OF SOULS (2012), a Booklist Top Ten Sci-Fi/Fantasy Title for Youth and finalist for the Phillis Wheatley Book Award.

 

Zetta Elliot… 

moved to Brooklyn in 1994 to pursue her PhD in American Studies at NYU. Her poetry has been published in several anthologies, and her plays have been staged in New York, Chicago, and Cleveland. Her essays have appeared in Horn Book Magazine, School Library Journal, and The Huffington Post. Her first picture book, BIRD, won the Honor Award in Lee & Low Books’ New Voices Contest; it was named Best of 2008 by Kirkus Reviews, a 2009 ALA Notable Children’s Book, and BIRD won the Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers…continue reading

— 3 days ago with 17 notes
#black authors  #zetta elliot  #science fiction