SIX BOOKS TO HELP KIDS HANDLE RACE AND IDENTITY

It seems as if African-American parents are having to continually have the same talk over and over again about violence against African-American people at the hands of law enforcement. It is never too early to have the “talk” about race and identity because, even the smallest of toddlers pick-up on things that you think that they wouldn’t.

As a black parent, it is imperative to arm children with the education and knowledge to proudly express themselves in regards to self-identity and race. By giving them the words to speak, you are empowering them for the future. Here are six  top picks that will help you with the conversation.

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“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” Malcom X

1. “What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan” by Chris Barton

Barbara Jordan was a phenomenal example of not only #blackgirlmagic, she was an educator, lawyer, and congresswoman. This book follows the story of the late Congresswoman’s life from childhood to post-congress.

2. “A is for Activist” by Innosanto Nagara

This book by Innosanto Nagara will help you raise little activists of your own who are willing to take up the cause and speak out and up for those whose voices have been silenced for too long. A Is for Activist goes through all the letters of the alphabet while introducing children to concepts around the revolution. A is for Activist motivates and inspires children to start asking questions.

3. “The Bell Rang” by James Ransome

In this book, James Ransome humanizes the American slave experience without glamorizing it, taking readers on a journey as it discusses run-away-slaves and the impact of those left behind.

4. “My People” by Langston Hughes, illustrated by Charles R. Smith Jr.

Langston Hughes’s poetry continues to inspire generation after generation. In his book, My People, the images pay homage to the diversity and beauty of what it means to be Black.

5. “Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History” by Vashti Harrison

Laden with adorable illustrations, this book speaks to the experiences of 40 amazing black women who have left their mark on the world, despite being double minorities. From media personalities to scientists, and everything in between, this book highlights once again just why #blackwomenrock.

6. “Abby Invents Unbreakable Crayons” by Dr. Arlyne Simon

Is your little one a budding inventor? Do they love any and all things STEAM-related? Well, this book is an excellent way to keep them talking about science, technology, engineering, art, and math-related topics. Teaching kids about the scientific method, they can learn how Abby, the budding inventor, focuses on solving the problem of stopping her crayons from breaking.

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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