So cool to meet award-winning author and illustrator C.G. Esperanza at ALA 2022!
He shows how he illustrated himself into the amazing story 'Soul Food Sunday' authored by Winsome Bingham @armyvetfive
His vivid, radiant graffiti-style illustrations are so engaging and reflective of Black and Latin culture. His work demonstrates a powerful, inclusive visual way to invite young readers to our stories.
Check him out!
We Are Here Lit! Wants to celebrate the father figures who help raise our children and to help them find their way.
The following book, are examples, of providing the images and representation of fatherhood to counter the narratives so often portrayed around Black males.
Check them out at your local library or support your local/online Black bookstore.
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I got to see Trombone Shorty last night in Boston. It was an AMAZING show. So many talented musicians, vocalists, and lively music, including Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, himself.
His story is one of his brother's mentorship, perseverance, the love of music, and leadership. It reminded me of the two picture books about how he became such a talented musician.
His books, beautifully illustrated, tell his inspirational story. Check them out at your local library or buy them at your local/online Black bookstore.
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A Day for Rememberin': Inspired by True Events of the 1st Memorial Day by Leah Henderson and illustrated by the award-winning Floyd Cooper.
The story of Eli, who with his family and community, on May 1st, 1865, memorialized Union soldiers in Charleston, North Carolina. Black, Brown, and White people singing "John Brown's Body", walking in procession with flowers and crosses to the town cemetery, the town is sad yet, celebrates, the soldier's graves for contributing to those who gave their lives freely to those who were enslaved.
The back matter includes an author's note about the roots of Decoration Day, a timeline,, archival photos, and a bibliography.
This is a necessary purchase for classroom and home libraries to include regarding the roots of Memorial Day.
Can be used for K-12.
When children hear about injustices, like this past weekend in Buffalo, its important to HEAR them when they ask WHY.
A book to help engage with discussion is (@tayediggsinsta) Taye Diggs book WHY. Illustrated by Shane W. Evans, this book STARTS the dicussion around the pain, protest, praying, and anger of the injustices facing Black people.
This book does not answer questions, but provides the space to have critical conversations about race and racism, Black resistance and protest, and social justice.
Pair this book with age appropriate news stories, about the Civil Rights Movement, The Black Lives Matter Movement or in explaining yet another hate crime that they may hear aboout.
Answering WHY helps young people figure out the world, build concepts, and understnad the unknown, even with difficult topics like raci
Tre has a new book in his series Cheesestakes & Clippers.
His books focus on community and financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
Tre also hosts an AMAZING Vlog focusing on literacy and does tremendous work to create access for young people to engage in reading.
Check him out at @mrlitedu and support his efforts to create opportunities through literacy.
Amid the NBA Playoff season, I recently read 'The Legend of Gravity: A Tall Basketball Tale" by Charly Palmer. This book tells the legendary story of a local basketball hero named Gravity.
This book dives into the moments on the courts where players earn their nicknames. Palmer gives readers a relevant, engaging way to understand similes and metaphors. There is also an opportunity for readers to understand what 'Tall Tales' are related to stories told on the court.
IN HIS DEBUT PICTURE BOOK, and AMAZING artist in his own right (check out his web page), Palmer also won the Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe New Talent Award winner for "Mama Africa!
Add this book to your collections as a mentor text for similes, metaphors, tall tales, and basketball fans.
Spring is here! These two books help 'germinate' ideas for gardening projects.
Gabe and the Green Thumb by David Miller
Gabe discovers the power of growing food as his magical green thumb is recognized at his State Fair.
Let It Grow by Mary Ann Fraser, Illustrated by Riley Samels
This book tells the story of a young boy who learns to grow a special pumpkin seed. What happens to the pumpkin? There is a surprise ending tied to a real-life adventure.
Use these books as a read-aloud to discuss the life cycle of plants and also as a writing prompt about growing magical plants. These books are great for STEM and gardening projects.
We Are Here Lit! interviews Award-Winning Author Carole Boston Weatherford in honor of Women's History Month! We will celebrate her space in children's literature as an author who has given voice to Black historical people and places for all to learn. We also learn about her influence on her son Jeffery who is a Poet, MC, and Illustrator.
Although our history truly begins in Africa, if people teach about Black history from enslavement, it must include resistance. It must include courage, determination, perseverance, ingenuity AND LOVE.
Speak of people of African Descent and Identity with an asset-based approach.
The industry of slavery in American history is the deficit. Discriminatory laws and segregation are the deficit. Redlining denying the right to opportunities and education is the deficit.
If you are not teaching and learning from that lens of an asset-based approach, what are you teaching and learning? Are you incorporating ethical philosophies in your teaching?
The picture books in this post are a few of the books available on this topic. Please list other titles in the comments, including middle-grade and high school-aged resources.
Let's learn from one another. Share your books titles and thoughts below.
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.