Voices of Change: A Teen Reflects on Freedom

November 14, 2017

Freedom

By JGL, 13

What’s the use of freedom, if we’re not really free
You say all religions will be treated equally
Don’t ostracize Muslims, let them be

What’s the use of freedom, if we’re not really free
Our president doesn’t support free press, it may be gone soon
Forthright writing is only found once in a blue moon

What’s the use of freedom, if we’re not really free
We should be able to articulate how we feel, without repercussion
Don’t be aloof, have a genial discussion

What’s the use of freedom, if we’re not really free
Justice should be fair and resolute
Regardless of race and gender, or the point is moot

What’s the use of freedom, if we’re not really free
You can’t purge the world of guns
But people shouldn’t bask in violence or flaunt weapons for fun

What’s the use of freedom, if we’re not really free
Don’t make the accused wait in anguish
While they continually languish

What’s the use of freedom, if we’re not really free
Search should be legal and follow the rules
Don’t make people scapegoats or play them for fools

What’s the use of freedom if we’re not really free
My premonition is that if we follow the constitution’s true meaning, we’ll be great
We need to instill love and exterminate the defect of hate

Read about Voices of Change on The Brown Bookshelf:

The Brown Bookshelf opens up this space to you — to young readers, to parents and caregivers, to educators, and all who work directly with children and teens. See previous entries here.

What are you thinking? How are you feeling about what is happening in our towns and cities, our world? Where do we go from here? What would you like to see happen? What do you want to do? How can we offer our support?

Please feel free to share your words and/or images with us, by sending them to teambrownbookshelf@gmail.com. And we will post them here. Posts with profanity, explicit imagery, etc will not be accepted or published. Unless a contributor requests otherwise, we will share first initials, age and/or position only.

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Shining the Spotlight: The Brown Bookshelf Salutes Great Books for Kids

November 11, 2017

If you’re attending AASL, please join us for our Shining the Spotlight program today in Room North 124A from 10:40 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. The BBS team will be represented by Gwendolyn Hooks, Kelly Starling Lyons, Tameka Fryer Brown and Crystal Allen.

Following the session, Crystal will sign at booth 223 from 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tameka will read in Authorpalooza at 12:15 p.m.

Tameka and Kelly will sign in Authorpalooza at 12:30 p.m.-1 p.m.

Here’s the list of books we featured in our book talk:

A Night Out With Mama by Quvenzhane Wallis, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat written and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe

One Shadow on the Wall by Leah Henderson

American Ace by Marilyn Nelson

Visiting Day by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by James Ransome

Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Crown by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon James

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History written and illustrated by Vashti Harrison

Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth, illustrated by Chris K. Soentpiet

My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood by Tameka Fryer Brown, illustrated by Shane W. Evans

Tiny Stitches by Gwendolyn Hooks, illustrated by Colin Bootman

Two Naomis by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Audrey Vernick

Tea Cakes for Tosh by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by E. B. Lewis

The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Spirit Week Showdown and The Wall of Fame Game by Crystal Allen, illustrated by Eda Kaban

In Your Hands by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Brian Pinkney

The Ring Bearer written and illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Preaching to the Chickens by Jabari Asim, illustrated by E.B. Lewis

Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by James Ransome

The Legendary Miss Lena Horne by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

Don’t Call Me Grandma by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Thank you for your support.


Voices of Change: A Poet’s Call

October 25, 2017

 

“That Village”

By Johnny Ray Moore

 

Let’s all become that VILLAGE,

Just like we used to be?

That VILLAGE made of KINGS and QUEENS, 

A place of DIGNITY.

Back then, WE RAISED our children,

We taught them RIGHT from WRONG,

When problems came and shook their FAITH,

We urged them to HOLD ON.

We even PRAISED our ELDERS,

They PAVED THE WAY for us,

And, if they needed ANYTHING,

We GAVE without a fuss.

That village was a place of STRENGTH,

Where MEN made PEACE with MEN,

And WOMEN stood beside their mates,

Right to the very end.

The CHURCH, also, had POWER,

It gave much HOPE to many,

It taught SALVATION was for all,

And DID NOT COST A PENNY!

And furthermore, that VILLAGE was,

Designed to keep us grounded,

Instilling precious HARMONY,

The BEST THING ever founded.

So, as we sometimes toil with doubt,

STAND TALL and PERSEVERE,

Because, THAT VILLAGE WAY OF LIFE,

IS STILL SO VERY DEAR.

Johnny Ray Moore is a poet, children’s book author, greeting card writer and songwriter. His acclaimed board book, The Story of Martin Luther King Jr., has sold more than 100,000 copies. His children’s poetry collection, Silence, Please (Clear Fork Publishing), debuts in April.

 

Read about Voices of Change on The Brown Bookshelf.

The Brown Bookshelf opens up this space to you — to young readers, to parents and caregivers, to educators, and all who work directly with children and teens. See previous entries here.

What are you thinking? How are you feeling about what is happening in our towns and cities, our world? Where do we go from here? What would you like to see happen? What do you want to do? How can we offer our support?

Please feel free to share your words and/or images with us, by sending them to teambrownbookshelf@gmail.com. And we will post them here. Posts with profanity, explicit imagery, etc will not be accepted or published. Unless a contributor requests otherwise, we will share first initials, age and/or position only.


Voices of Change: A Parent Speaks

October 16, 2017

Blackness
by Brenda Payne Whiteman

I love my blackness
Good to know who I am
Hailing from my parents’ and ancestors’
Collective womb
Nurturing, strong and proud

I face a cold world
When pain is inflicted
With words that cut into my heart
Sharp as a knife
By looks that burn a hole in my soul

I feel invisible at times in a sea of whiteness
By those encaged in bold, cocky entitlement
Basking in their reality

I have news
The world does not revolve
Around you
It revolves around us all

We all share this planet
As human beings
Who laugh, cry, and bleed the same red
No one is more supreme than you or me
We all have something to give

Brenda Payne Whiteman is an aspiring children’s picture book writer and a member of the New Jersey chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is a parent, age 58.

Read about Voices of Change on The Brown Bookshelf.

The Brown Bookshelf opens up this space to you — to young readers, to parents and caregivers, to educators, and all who work directly with children and teens. See previous entries here.

What are you thinking? How are you feeling about what is happening in our towns and cities, our world? Where do we go from here? What would you like to see happen? What do you want to do? How can we offer our support?

Please feel free to share your words and/or images with us, by sending them to teambrownbookshelf@gmail.com. And we will post them here. Posts with profanity, explicit imagery, etc will not be accepted or published. Unless a contributor requests otherwise, we will share first initials, age and/or position only.


Call for Submissions – 28 Days Later

October 11, 2017

28dayslaterlogoIt’s that time. The submissions window has officially opened for the 11th annual 28 Days Later campaign, a Black History Month celebration of black children’s book creators. We will take nominations today through November 10th.

Over the past decade, we have proudly saluted more than 250 authors and illustrators through our signature initiative. But there are so many more who deserve to be showcased.

That’s where you come in. Help us identify under-the-radar and vanguard black children’s book creators we should consider featuring. Let us know who we should check out so we can give them the praise they’ve earned.

After the submissions window closes, we’ll research the names you’ve submitted and our internal nominations. Then, we’ll choose the stand-outs who will be the next class of 28 Days Later honorees. The celebration of their work begins February 1.

Too often, the work of black authors and illustrators goes unsung. With 28 Days Later, we put these talents in front of the folks who can get their books into the hands of kids – librarians, teachers, parents and booksellers among others.

Nominate your favorites in the comments section. Please note that due to the limited resources of the team, we can only take nominations of traditionally published books. We may highlight a small number of self-published children’s book creators for the 28 Days Later campaign, but these authors and illustrators will be internally nominated.

You can check out past honorees in the 28 Days Later pull-down tab in the menu above. If you could make sure your nominee hasn’t already been featured, that would be a great help.

Spread the word and nominate often. With your support, we can make a difference. Thank you.


Voices of Change: Youth Speak

October 2, 2017

 

strongerthanhate

Artwork by JGL, 13

 

 

Untitled

-by A, 13

Strove through strife
A motto for Black children
Blackness is excellence
We are not too dark to be noticed
It is not a reason for abuse
Blackness is beauty
Community
Magic
Love
Hardships
Strength.
They tried to shape our hands
To fit only chains
We made a fist.
To show love
In our community
To hold a pen
Mightier than a sword
To hold a microphone
That ensures we will be heard–
Say it loud
Be it loud
Black and proud.

 

 

 

 

What are you thinking? How are you feeling about what is happening in our towns and cities, our world? Where do we go from here? What would you like to see happen? What do you want to do? How can we offer our support?

 

Your lives matter. The Brown Bookshelf opens up this space to you — to young readers, to parents and caregivers, to educators, and all who work directly with children and teens.

Send your submission to teambrownbookshelf@gmail.com

 

Please feel free to share your words and/or images with us, by sending them to teambrownbookshelf@gmail.com. And we will post them here (Unless a contributor requests otherwise, we will share first initials, age and/or position only.)

Read this for more about Voices of Change on The Brown Bookshelf.

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Voices of Change: A New Series on the Brown Bookshelf

October 2, 2017

illustration by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

“As we struggle to bridge the chasm and search for common ground, we must remember our strength, show our resilience and think of the children.”

Those were the words of the Brown Bookshelf’s Declaration in Support of Children in November of 2016, and we reaffirm that commitment. In the wake of continued violence, bigotry, and state-sanctioned expressions of hate across the country, we are thinking of you, our readers, every day. It takes love and courage to stand up for what’s right. There is only one side in the fight against evil. One of our promises was to listen, and that promise stands stronger than ever.

Your lives matter. The Brown Bookshelf opens up this space to you — to young readers, to parents and caregivers, to educators, and all who work directly with children and teens.

What are you thinking? How are you feeling about what is happening in our towns and cities, our world? Where do we go from here? What would you like to see happen? What do you want to do? How can we offer our support?

Please feel free to share your words and/or images with us, by sending them to teambrownbookshelf@gmail.com. And we will post them here (Unless a contributor requests otherwise, we will share first initials, age and/or position only.)

We begin with reflections from two young people, a poem and work of illustration.

Educators are using the hashtags #CharlottesvilleCurriculum, #CharlottesvilleSyllabus, #TeachResistance, #ImmigrationSyllabus on Twitter to share resources related to these issues. Scholars, writers, artists, and activists have begun to collect resources that can be helpful in your classroom, library, and home. In the wake of the hate crimes in Charlottesville, VA, there are a number of “Charlottesville Syllabi” available free online, such as The University of Virginia Graduate Student Coalition’s zine that continues to be updated and revised, and the jstor compendium. The Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility offers a number of free classroom resources, including this one on DACA, this on responding to violence like a mass shooting, and another to foster a sense of connection between young people, their communities, their world. Teaching for Change shares a bibliography and other resources on Puerto Rico’s past and present. Teaching Tolerance also offers some tips on discussing the crises in places like Puerto Rico, and Rethinking Schools shares the stories of student activism.

We continue to “plant seeds of empathy, fairness and empowerment through words and pictures.” In keeping with the Brown Bookshelf’s mission to celebrate Black creators of children’s literature, we’d like to share a few titles that we think can promote justice during these times: please feel free to share your recommendations in the comments.

Touch, by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

illustration by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

    Picture Books

 

Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation
By Edwidge Danticat, illustrated by Leslie Staub

Tiny Stitches
By Gwendolyn Hooks

If You Were a Kid During the Civil Rights Movement
By Gwendolyn Hooks

Milo’s Museum
By Zetta Elliott

We March
By Shane W. Evans

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton
By Don Tate

One Million Men and Me
Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Peter Ambush

Afro-Bets Book of Black Heroes
By Wade Hudson, Valerie Wilson Wesley

The Great Migration: Journey to the North
By Eloise Greenfield

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer
By Carole Boston Weatherford

White Socks Only
By Evelyn Coleman

Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Be Malcolm X
By Ilyasah Shabazz

March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World
By Christine King Farris

Preaching to the Chickens
By Jabari Asim

As Fast As Words Could Fly
By Pamela M. Tuck

Goin’ Someplace Special
By Patricia C. McKissack

Freedom on the Menu
By Carole Boston Weatherford

The Other Side
By Jacqueline Woodson

Freedom Train
By Evelyn Coleman

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down
By Andrea Davis Pinkney

Child of the Civil Rights Movement
By Paula Young Shelton

Rosa
By Nikki Giovanni

Coretta Scott
By Ntozake Shange

Sweet Smell of Roses
By Angela Johnson

    Middle Grade

 

The Watsons Go to Birmingham
By Christopher Paul Curtis

The Laura Line
By Crystal Allen

Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales
By Virginia Hamilton

One Crazy Summer, P.S. Be Eleven, Gone Crazy in Alabama (Gaither Sisters Trilogy)
By Rita Williams Garcia

Let It Shine! Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters
By Andrea Davis Pinkney

Through My Eyes
By Ruby Bridges

Pathfinders: The Journeys of 16 Extraordinary Black Souls
By Tonya Bolden

Maritcha: A 19th Century American Girl
By Tonya Bolden

Midnight Without a Moon
By Linda Williams Jackson

 

    Young Adult

 

March Trilogy
By Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

Piecing Me Together
By Renée Watson

This Side of Home
By Renée Watson

The Hate U Give
Angie Thomas

Dear Martin
Nic Stone

Parable of the Sower
By Octavia Butler

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom
By Lynda Blackmon Lowery

Brown Girl Dreaming
By Jacqueline Woodson

The Rock And The River
By Kekla Magoon

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