Today's field trip and rant brought to you from: the bookstore. Now hear me, I ALWAYS recommend the library be the first go to because many people, myself included, can't always afford to purchase new books. However, when we can, from money earned or gifted, we visit the bookstore.
These are books my kiddos will be reading as the summer commences. Whenever they select books I usually give them a criteria. Be it: pick something on your reading level, something that isn't a graphic novel this time, something outside of what you normally choose etc. So, today's criteria? Pick a book with representation. "What's that mean mommy?" asked one of my babies. Me: "pick a book with people or someone on the cover that looks like you." Why you might ask? Because right now, and always, I want them to see themselves and hear diverse stories about people who look like them. PERIODT!
As we perused my local Barnes & Noble I came upon this selection of books individuals can purchase to initiate or further their conversations about race. This table was small in comparison to all the other surrounding tables and stands that had books on US History.
I realized up close and personal, in print, just how inundated and white the portrayal of US History is. I mean the white men were all up
Then, on the ride home my one of my babies says "mommy you were saying something to me the other day about Flint, MI... the setting and main character in this book [The Watsons Go To Birmingham] are from Flint!" So, as you can imagine I'm excited!! I'll get to revisit and do further investigation and learning with her about the water crisis in Flint.
I had to shout in the car,
"I love learning!"
Pardon my geekyness 🙈
As I bring this rant to a close, takeaways: 1. Learn with your kiddos. Expose them to different and new things. Ignite the fire and let them run with it. My though process is: if I don't as a parent, the world will. And to be frank, I'd rather it be me first.
2. Your local library is a valuable and economical asset to your learning. I almost always exhaust the amount of books I can recommend my library purchase every month. Yep! You can recommend that your library purchase books. So if there are books you come across that you feel should be on your local library's shelf, that aren't New York Times best sellers [yet], you can ask your library to add them to their collection. Also, check out Overdrive and Libby. These are free apps you can download and sync your library card with in order to access eBooks and audio-books. This way you don't have to worry about returning books or late fees.
3. REPRESENTATION MATTERS!!!! There is more than one table's worth of books that encourage conversations about anti-racism, racism, allyship [and culture]. Ask that your bookstores pull out all the stops! Ask them to find and shelf books on US history that aren't simply about or by white men! And dare I say that the books by and about black women should not be at the bottom of the shelves!!
I think that's all for now...until next time ya'll.