That is the motto for the country in Africa called Ghana.
We are bringing you two books recently published to share more about the significance of this country.
The first book is called ‘Kwame Nkrumah’s Midnight Speech for Independence’ by Useni Eugene Perkins and Illustrated by Laura Freeman. This is an insightful biography detailing the life of the 1st Prime Minister and the 1st elected President of the Republic of Ghana. Here are a few facts from this book that can be ties to additional instructional concepts:
Colonialism, Independence, Self-Rule, & Liberation
Kwame Nkrumah, Ghanian nationalist leader who led the Gold Coast's drive for independence from Britain and presided over its emergence as the new nation
Dr. Nkrumah went to Lincoln University, before earning his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania
Nkrumah engaged with Civil Rights activists, like the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell and W.E.B. Dubois, Martin Luther King, Coretta Scott King, A. Phillip Randolph, Ralph Bunche among others
Kwame was instrumental in progressing the movement for the liberation of the Gold Coast from the British. Although not in this book, he met with leaders, like Che Guevara, who was also working to liberate African and South America from the term they coined ‘neocolonialism”
Kwame Nrumah galvanized momentum for freedom through groups in the Gold Coast like the United Gold Coast Convention and the Convention People’s Party. Internationally he helped organize the 5th Pan African Congress with African and International leaders who were fighting for independence in Africa.
This book also includes a timeline, Adinkra Symbols with explained meanings, and a timeline.
Also included to provide historical knowledge about Ghana’s past is a historical fiction novel called ‘We Are Akan’ by Dorothy Brown Soper and illustrated by James Cloutier. This story about the 3 boys living in the Asante Kingdom, the most powerful nation in West Africa. As they learn adult skills they are invited to Kumasi for an important festival. They become intertangled in a rebellion that changes their trajectory.
Meet Swift Walker he quickly walks himself into different learning adventures! By sea, in space, and across continents, Swift Walker shows readers all he learns on his walkabouts.
This series, by Verlyn Tarlton, is an engaging mix of a fiction story and informational text about curriculum-aligned subjects like the continents, the planets, and the oceans.
Pair these titles with non-fiction titles for a deeper dive into the topics Swift Walker happens upon.
The Swift Walker series is great for PreK-3rd grade.
Titles in the series:
Tarlton, Verlyn, and Chamberlain, Alejandro, illustrator. Swift Walker : a Continental Journey. Herndon, Virginia: Mascot Books, 2015. Print.
Tarlton, Verlyn, and Karimov, Ravshan, illustrator. Swift Walker : a Space Adventure. New Orleans]: Plum Street Press, 2016. Print.
Tarlton, Verlyn, and Putri, Norma Andriani Eka, illustrator. Swift Walker : a Journey Around the Oceans. New Orleans]: Plum Street Press, 2015. Print.
We finally got our copy of My Mother’s Wildest Dream and it was worth the wait. Beautifully told by Author/Librarian Mr. John Light this story shares examples of the generational lineage of the Black family’s love, hopes, and dreams.
Beautifully illustrated by Monica Mikai, this book mirrors many relatable moments shared with family.
As we head into Black History Month and Valentine’s Day, this book is a great read-aloud showing Black Love, family love, and the hopes and dreams of family for the youth.
Also, a beautiful story to share for Mother’s Day!
Pick up your copy at your local library, bookstore, or online to read aloud and share this beautiful story.
Let’s talk about voting rights!
With the Senate’s failure to pass voting rights protections, we really wanted to post resources to relay the historical and everyday significance voting has in our lives. There is a history of voter suppression in the United States that progresses with every advancement made in diversifying American society. Here are books to help youth be a part of the conversation.
We Shall Overcome!
Tyner. (2021). Black voter suppression : the fight for the right to vote. Lerner Publications.
Upper elementary- high school
Allen, & ReferencePoint Press. (2020). Election manipulation : is America's voting system secure? ReferencePoint Press.
Middle grade-high school
Jenkins, Lacker, Kati, illustrator, & Jones, Martha S., writer of foreword. (2020). Drawing the vote : an illustrated guide to voting in America. Abrams ComicArts.
Middle grade-high school
Nico is the new kid who doesn’t quite know what to do and is a little lost. But Nico doesn’t let feeling unsure stop him from enjoying all the life around him, especially BIRDS. He is teased and is called Bird Boy, but he pays his bullies no mind. Eventually, he makes friends that are drawn to his kindness and imagination.
The message of the book about being who you are unapologetically is the main theme of this title.
This book also invites readers to be curious about birds. Here are a few titles that pair beautifully with Bird Boy.
This is a We Are Here Lit recommendation. We often hear people talking about Black Joy, but we never have a lot of discussions about what that entails for our kids, ourselves, and in classrooms. ‘We Are Not Broken’ by George Johnson is an example of a book defining Black boy joy and Black love.
The story centers around the author’s family paying particular attention to his grandmother, Nanny, brother Garrett, cousins Rall, and Rasul. Johnson shares the ordinary, relatable precious moments in life that we often time overlook and take for granted and is our Black Joy
The book features family anecdotes that we all can connect with because they are all the fun, mischievous, mundane, and serious moments you deal with from family. The learning moments and the wisdom, resilience, and appreciation of the family matriarch Nanny remind you of home.
In addition to the vibrant storytelling, there are special features within this book that add to the humor and history of Black culture. For example, Johnson includes Nanny-isms which are oftentimes Southern or regional ‘Black Proverbs.’ The Nanny-isms provide the themes for the chapters, and some of them are simply hilarious.
The most endearing moments of the book are the letters from the four cousins to their Nanny. They're so heartfelt.
Also includes images in s family album layout that add another layer of home to this book.
Johnson discusses the tough topics that all families have to deal with drugs the streets identity in this case Johnson's queer identity and finding love where it is.
One of the things we particularly enjoyed about reading this book was the moments where our identities have us navigating the challenging moments in life. Johnson brilliantly helps us counter the narrative to see and appreciate moments of Black joy and love from endurance because, as the title says We Are Not Broken.
If you need an example of Black of joy and love this is it.
This book is from middle and high school students, especially for school and library book clubs.
Click on the image for article access:
Just some pre-prep for next month as we reflect on MLK Day.
We hear a lot about Black Joy but what does it mean when we are teaching and incorporating Black history in education.
EdWeek posted an opinion piece: Don’t Teach Black History Without Joy
The Black experience is not one-dimensional. Why do we teach it that way?
By Jania Hoover
Share your thoughts of what Black Joy in curriculum and instruction means to you? Whether you're a homeschool teacher, classroom, or school librarian, this is a good article to begin to define what it means to you and the content you tech.
Join We Are Here Lit! as we talk to Dr. Nathaniel Bryan and his new book Toward a BlackBoyCrit Pedagogy: Black Boys, Male Teachers, and Early Childhood Classroom Practices.
We will discuss Dr. Bryan's educational and literacy journey, supporting educators, what is BlackBoyCrit, Black boys & sports, homeschooling, and much more.
Just a clip from our discussion with Dr. Nathaniel Bryan as he discusses Black Boys and the importance of play in learning, one of the many topics of our engaging, insightful conversation
Dr. Bryan has a new book, Toward a BlackBoyCrit Pedagogy: Black Boys, Male Teachers, and Early Childhood Classroom Practices.
Join us as we discuss Dr. Bryan's educational and literacy journey, supporting educators, what is BlackBoyCrit, Black boys & sports, homeschooling, culturally relevant children's literature, what the Science of Reading means for minoritized communitites and much more.
You can watch or listen to the interview on all our platforms
(Youtube, Anchor Podcast, Spotify, and the website weareherelit.org)
Dance is also a literacy. It involves understanding, communicating, and expression. It also encompasses viewing, listening, reading, speaking, and writing to comprehend dance knowledge.
We posted books about the Black male experience in dance, fiction and non-fiction.
This month on PBS discover the legendary choreographer Alvin Ailey whose dances center on the Black American experience with grace, strength and beauty. The documentary featuring previously unheard audio interviews with Ailey, interviews with those close to him and an intimate glimpse into the Ailey studios today.
The following books are in this post:
Langley, Kaija, and Mallett, Keith, illustrator. When Langston Dances. First edition.. New York: Denene Millner Books, 2021. Print.
Pinkney, Andrea Davis., and Pinkney, J. Brian ill. Alvin Ailey. 1st ed.. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 1993. Print.
Cline-Ransome, Lesa., and Ransome, James, illustrator. My Story, My Dance : Robert Battle's Journey to Alvin Ailey. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young readers, 2015. Print.
Allman, John Robert, Lozano, Luciano, illustrator, and American Ballet Theatre. Boys Dance! First edition.. New York: Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2020. Print.
WE ARE HERE will provide you book reviews, discussions, news, and programming about literature and literacy by and about Black males. This site will also feature vlog conversations on topics related to the promoting literacy and voice for Black boys and young men.