Freedom and Justice.
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.
Let’s talk about voting rIghts!
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
Let's Glow Together in 2022!
Glow, authored by Ruth Foreman and Illustrated by Geneva Bowers along with Together by Mona Damluji and illustrated by Innosanto Nasanto are our featured board books today.
Both board books themes are affirmations of the human spirit. Glow affirms that the inner light of a young Black boy in his everyday life and Together affirms, through social justice themes, the power of one and the collective.
We Are Here Lit! hopes this upcoming year creates more moments to uplift Black boys and young Black men as we GLOW TOGETHER through this literacy movement.
Happy New Year!
We will discuss their critically acclaimed new releases 'Recognize' and 'Defiant' and also about supporting Black publishers, authors, and bookstores this holiday season.
On Facebook Live
I recently finished the middle-grade book ‘Take Back the Block’ by Chrystal D. Giles and the picture book ‘Alejandria Fights Back! ¡La Lucha de Alejandria!’ by by Leticia Hernández-Linares, The Rise-Home Stories Project, Robert Liu-Trujillo , and Carla España (Translator) and wanted to put some additional books to support this topic.
‘Take Back the Block’ features the protagonist, middle schooler, Wes Henderson, along with his community dealing with a real estate developer offering to buy the neighborhood where Wes grew up.
Black and Latinx youth advocacy and community are involved in both books as they also use their local library to source information to advocate for their communities.
Also, included are the following titles to learn and discuss this topic from elementary through high school:
-Everything Naomi Loved by Kate Yamasaki and Ian Lendler (elementary)
-Like Home by Louisa Onome (middle/high school)
-Halsey Street by Naima Coste (middle/high school)
Included in the Linktree (in bio) are additional lesson plans, video clips explaining gentrification, and a Boyz N The Hood clip for context geared towards a high school student prompt.
The Challenge to Defeat Illiteracy
How can we think about working collectively to change the “State of Illiteracy”?
Join us as we talk to Jonathan Beatty, author of the recent Newsweek opinion piece The Challenge of Defeating Illiteracy in America and Founder of I Love Books. We’ll discuss how we can end illiteracy through cross-sector collaboration, collective problem solving, and strategic resource allocation.
Thursday, November 4th, 7:30-8:30 on Zoom
Register here to receive the Zoom link
Register through Linktree in the bio.
Jonathan Beatty, better known as the “Chief Bookman,” is the founder of I LOVE BOOKS (ILB), an apparel startup on a mission to end illiteracy, #bookbybook. The company sells bookish merch, and donates half of its profits to provide new books to children who need them most. Since April, ILB has donated nearly 1,000 new books to kids in Kentucky through partnerships with local schools and nonprofits.
Before launching ILB, Jonathan spent over a decade working in corporate finance for some of the largest companies in the world, including Procter & Gamble, McKesson, and Amazon. He left his career to ensure all young people have access to books and the opportunity to become lifelong learners.
Reverend Dr. Michael W. Waters, the author of 'For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World
Dr. Michael W. Waters, the author of 'For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World,' talks about his literacy path through the church, social justice, Hip Hop, the Black storytelling tradition, family literacy, and his forthcoming book.
His new book Liberty's Civil Rights Road Trip is out October 12th.
Foot Soldiers Park
Bolton John Foundation
MOBB United for Social Change
"I have often said that I will truly have achieved my full legacy when I have helped or inspired people who never knew I was an athlete."
Me. Abdul-Jabbar is currently in the news taking a stance on player vaccination. He is known as an Athlete-Activist. From the Cleveland Summit and boycotting the '68 Olympics he has always used his platform to further social justice.
Not only is he an Athlete-Activist, he is also a Scholar-Author. Check out his picture book and young adult titles, including the critically acclaimed biography 'Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court', to learn more about this prolific life and journey.
Who #YA Got....
Have you read any of these young adult novels? Share your thoughts about them in the comment section below the blog post title.
IG: @dr.yusefsalaam @ibizaboi @nicstone @kwamealexander
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.