Dehumanization of black children in US

I don’t have any of my own comments to add to this reblogged article. I just know, that since beginning teacherhood, it has been an uphill battle to find the support and space to educate brown and black children to their full potential, due to the systematic: Dehumanization of black children in US. I may be white-skinned, but I was raised by a black mama, and I honor black and brown children. Being white-skinned has enabled me to slip into spaces where I have heard and witnessed behaviors by educators, administrators, and policy makers that deliberately and systematically dehumanize black children in the US. This reblog is not to be controversial or to seek attention. It is to communicate urgency. Education is the practice of freedom, yet it is most played out as the practice of indoctrination. If you are an educator of black and brown children, and you are failing them; then it is time to educate yourself a great deal more; less you plan to step out of the kitchen. Okay, well..I guess I did add my own comment.

The Apartheid of Children’s Literature – an article by author Christopher Myers.

The Apartheid of Children’s Literature – an article by author Christopher Myers.

The gentrification and apartheid of children’s literature are concepts I mull over often. My third graders are currently working on Compare and Contrast Essays, using Christopher Myer’s Wings, and Lesa Cline-Ransome’s Before There Was Mozart. So this article is close to my heart as well as my profession. The link above takes you to his article, featured in today’s New York Times.

Wings. Written and Illustrated by Christopher Myers

Wings. Written and Illustrated by Christopher Myers

Before There was Mozart. By Lesa and James Ransome. 2011

Before There was Mozart. By Lesa and James Ransome. 2011

 

BHM Children’s Read Alouds: Day 6: When the Beat was Born

February 6 – When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc & The Creation of Hip Hop by Laban Carrick Hill. Illustrated by Theodore Taylor III.

Genre: Non-fiction. Biography.

Biography: – Clive Campbell a.k.a. DJ Kool Herc.

Historical Time Period: 1970′s – Present Day.

Geographical Relevance: 1. Bronx, NYC. 2. Jamaica

Authenticity: Author, Laban Hill, includes historical data, timeline, and an extensive Author’s Note, in the back of the book, that include’s stories of his younger years exploring the Bronx and other boroughs of NYC.  Hill has a reputation of doing extensive research on his subjects before he writes about them. This book is no exception to that.

Roaring Brook Press. 2013.

Roaring Brook Press. 2013.

Author - Laban Carrick Hill

Author – Laban Carrick Hill

Illustrator: Theodore Taylor III

Illustrator: Theodore Taylor III

 

 

BHM Children’s Read Alouds: Day 5: A Celebration of Black Dolls

February 5 - Sitting Pretty: A Celebration of Black Dolls by Dinah Johnson. Photographs by Myles C. Pinkney.

Genre: History. Poetry.

Historical Time Period: 1800′s. 1900′s. 2000′s.

Geographical Relevance: Global.

Authenticity: The author Dinah Washington is professor of English and Children’s Literature at the University of South Carolina. Many of the dolls that she writes poetry about in Sitting Pretty, are dolls that she, or loved ones, owned. At the back of the book, the Author’s Notes include much provenance about individual dolls.

Sitting Pretty. Published by Henry Holt and Co. 2000

Sitting Pretty. Published by Henry Holt and Co. 2000

From Dinah Johnson's Sitting Pretty. Photographs of dolls by Myles C. Pinkney.

From Dinah Johnson’s Sitting Pretty. Photographs of dolls by Myles C. Pinkney.

 

Author Dinah Johnson

Author Dinah Johnson

Photography Myles Pinkney

Photography Myles Pinkney

I recommend this book for all ages. It’s a gem.

Thanks for reading The Picture Book Pusher.

 

 

 

BHM Teacher Reads: The Other Black Bostonians.

The Other Black Bostonians: West Indians in Boston, 1900-1950. by Violet Showers Johnson.

other black bostonians

Author Violet Showers Johnson - Professor of History at Texas A&M.

Author Violet Showers Johnson – Professor of History at Texas A&M.

Since I am sharing a picture book a day, during Black History Month, I thought it selfish of me to not include books that the teacher is reading too.  Being a teacher in Boston Public I have know excuses for not being educated on the histories of my students’ cultures. I found this book almost a year ago, at Tom Sawyer Old Books and Prints in Allston, MA.

Thanks for reading The Picture Book Pusher.

BHM Children’s Read Alouds: Day 4: Joseph Boulogne

February 4 - Before There Was Mozart: The Story of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George by Lesa Cline – Ransome. Illustrated by James E. Ransome.

Genre: Non-Fiction. Biography

Biography: Joseph Boulogne – knight (chevalier), fencer, composer, violinist, royal music instructor, Colonel in French Revolution, abolitionist. 1739 – 1799.

Historical Time Period: Mid-late 1700′s.

Geographical Relevance: 1. Guadeloupe Islands in the West Indies. 2. Paris, France. 3. Senegal.

Authenticity: The author, Lesa Cline-Ransome, and the illustrator, James E. Ransome, are wife and husband. Lesa was an avid writer while attending the Pratt Institute in New York, a professional marketing-writer, and developed a love of picture books during her graduate program in Education. Her husband first encouraged her to put her skills and knowledge into picture book form, and from there she would research the history of her subjects while her young children napped. James’ illustrations, also researched, make for a complete story. What is rare and wonderful to see, in major publishing houses, is the author and illustrator creating the book together. Ideas are in agreement – facilitating the book’s authenticity.

Before There was Mozart. By Lesa and James Ransome. 2011

Before There was Mozart. By Lesa and James Ransome. 2011

Right: Author Lesa Cline-Ransome. Left: Illustrator James E. Ransome. (photo courtesy of Chronogram Magazine)

Right: Author Lesa Cline-Ransome. Left: Illustrator James E. Ransome.
(photo courtesy of Chronogram Magazine)

I hadn’t heard of this book, or the author, before I saw it in the window of The Book Rack in Arlington, MA., a little over a month ago. This book is rare in quality. The story is unique and has many layers: A boy, who’s mother was a first-generation slave captured from Senegal, yet was never a slave himself, because his father, the plantation Master, honored his son as his son. The father also acknowledged the mother. Joseph continually experienced both oppression and privilege throughout his life, making for a very dynamic position and perspective in the world. I recommend this book for all ages, although grade K2 and grade 1 will need some mindful scaffolding beforehand.

Thanks for reading The Picture Book Pusher.

BHM Children’s Read Alouds: Day 2: Pink and Say

February 2 - Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco

Genre: Non-Fiction. Oral History

Biography: Pinkus Aylee – Hero, enslaved man and soldier in Georgia, US. About 1840 – 1861

Historical Time Period: Civil War.

Geographical Relevance: Georgia.

Authenticity: The author and illustrator, Patricia Polacco, is the great great granddaughter of ‘Say’. Say is the man that Pinkus Aylee rescues from the hands of Confederate soldiers. The true story of Pinkus’ bravery has been orally passed down through Polacco’s family.

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco Originally published by Philomel 1994

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco
Originally published by Philomel 1994

Author Patricia Polacco

Author Patricia Polacco

 

The book is potentially quite powerful in teaching children about white privilege. I haven’t had the opportunity to use it in the classroom  yet. Up until recently, I’ve taught Kindergarten and first grade, and I don’t find it appropriate for the early childhood classroom, as it is quite sad and gruesome in parts. I aim to incorporate it into the curriculum of my new third grade class, that I begin teaching tomorrow.

The Picture Book Pusher