February is #BlackHistoryMonth!
Whether you're a parent, teacher, community organizer, aunt, uncle, grandparent or just someone that spends a lot of time with children, Black history month is a great time to introduce them to more literature about race and Blackness.
Children are our future and a huge part of our job raising them, is educating them about their responsibilities as good humans. Teaching children about race at a young age, is a brilliant way to support them in their journey to becoming compassionate, empathetic and kind people. We don't want the future generations to be colour blind; we want them to see race and more importantly, see racism. And be part of addressing it.
Unfortunately, there aren't many diverse books out there. Take a look at this info-graphic by Lee and Low Books:
Children, more than any of us, really understand the concept of fairness. They deserve to know the reality of our world, and be given the tools and skills to be part of changing it.
Here are some brilliant books that might help them on their journey:
1. Meet Viola Desmond
On the night of November 8th 1946, Nova Scotia businesswoman Viola Desmond stood up for her right to be in the “unofficial” whites-only section of a New Glasgow movie theatre . . . and was arrested for it. Supported by the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NSCAACP) and the black-owned newspaper The Clarion, Viola took her quest for the right to freedom from discrimination to the courts. While she ultimately did not succeed, she was a beacon to other early civil-rights activists.
2. Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness
A picture book invites white children and parents to become curious about racism, accept that it's real, and cultivate justice.
Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness is a a picture book that invites white children and parents to become curious about racism, accept that it's real, and cultivate justice.
3. Black Women Who Dared
Inspirational stories of ten Black women and women’s collectives from Canadian and American history. Included are leaders and groundbreakers who were anti-slavery activists, business women, health-care activists, civic organizers and educators.
Celebrate these remarkable women, some of whom you may be hearing about for the first time, and the profound impacts they've made.
4. The Extraordinary Chameleon
The Extraordinary Chameleon is a children's book by Victoria Blain. The story follows a chameleon as she searches the forest for an extraordinary outer coat, only to discover she already possesses within her the magical coat of her dreams. This story brings African folktale to the present.
Victoria Blain also runs @MulticulturalStoryTellers on Instagram, bringing a wealth of diverse children's books to parents and educators everywhere.
5. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
An important book for all ages, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.
Some of these links are affiliate links, meaning a small portion is earned by the writer if you purchase a book, at no extra cost to you!