Follow:
Browsing Tag:

diverse books

    children's books, diverse books

    15+ Multicultural Christian Picture Books for Children

    Looking for some fabulous Christian picture books for children ages 4-8? Be sure to check out the picture books on this list!

    Since our family is of the Christian faith, it’s important for me to read high-quality faith-building books with my children.  In the list below, I’ve rounded up some fantastic Christian picture books with excellent illustrations that put God at the focus of the story.   If you’re looking to instill positive faith values in children or just want to read a fantastic Christian-themed picture book about everyday kids being kids, I hope you’ll find something in this list.  Happy Reading!

    The Creation by James Weldon Johnson

    Set in the Deep South, The Creation alternates breathtaking scenes from Genesis with images of a country preacher under a tree retelling the story for children. The exquisite detail of James E. Ransome’s sun-dappled paintings and the sophisticated rhythm of the free verse pay tribute to Black American oral traditions of country sermonizing and storytelling.

    Who Will I Be, Lord? by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

    A young girl thoughtfully considers her family tree and the vibrant ancestors who populate it. As each family member’s story is revealed, her quiet meditation—about what kind of person she’ll be when she grows up—transforms into a testament to the importance of sharing family stories.

    Come Sunday by Nikki Grimes

    Softly, quietly begins the day of the week that, for LaTasha, is always full of glorious sounds: the pipe organ, tambourine, and drum; the footfalls of ushers marching down the aisle of the sanctuary; the sweet harmonies of the choir; and the rich vibrato of the preacher’s voice. LaTasha sings along with the congregation, confident that Heaven hears each joyful note.  A book of beautiful poems related to going to church on Sunday.

    Psalm Twenty-Three by Tim Ladwig

    The text of the familiar psalm comparing God to a loving shepherd accompanies illustrations which shows the world of love and fear faced by an urban African American family.

    He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands by Kadir Nelson

    Through sublime landscapes and warm images of a boy and his family, Kadir has created a dazzling, intimate interpretation, one that rejoices in the connectedness of people and nature.

    The Lord’s Prayer by Tim Ladwig

    A young girl and her father spend a day together helping an elderly neighbor. The love and guidance the child experiences in her relationship with her dad reflect the heart and will of our Heavenly Father in concrete ways children of all ages will understand.

    Early Sunday Morning by Denene Millner

    It’s almost little June’s big day to sing her first solo in the youth church choir and she couldn’t be more excited! But when it’s time to practice at choir rehearsal, June gets a little stage fright. As a result, her voice starts to tremble when she sings.  She overhears her friends making fun of her which hurts her feelings and makes her even more nervous and scared. With the help of her supportive family and community members, June gains back her confidence. But will she be ready to sing her big solo on Sunday morning in front of the whole congregation?

    Sunday is for God by Michael McGowan

    A boy longs to play in the river on this hot summer day, but instead he has to sit quietly in a pew. His collar itches and his tie’s too tight—why does the Lord care whether people get dressed up for church, anyway? But as hymns and prayers fill the room, he begins to appreciate the simple beauty of a day set aside for family and prayer.

    The World is Awake by Linsey Davis

    The World Is Awake, A celebration of everyday blessings, written by Emmy Award winner and ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis with Joseph Bottum, is a lyrical, rhyming story for young children intended to make them feel safe and joyful, cradled in the hands of God.

    When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

    Told in rhyming and playful text with beautiful illustrations, When God Made You inspires young readers to learn about their own special gifts and how they fit into God’s divine plan as they grow, explore, and begin to create for themselves.

    Beautiful Moon: A Child’s Prayer by Tonya Bolden

    A young boy wakes. He has forgotten to say his prayers. Outside his window, a beautiful harvest moon illuminates the city around him and its many inhabitants. As the moon slowly makes its way across the heavens, the boy offers a simple prayer for the homeless, the hungry, and others.

    The Watcher by Nikki Grimes

    Jordan lives in fear of Tanya, the class bully. But Tanya has worries of her own, no matter how much she tries to ignore them. It seems impossible that Jordan and Tanya could be anything other than enemies, but the Lord is watching over them, guiding each of them along a path that might just help them to understand one another.

    Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice and Sing Inspired Generations by Kelly Starling Lyons

    In 1900, in Jacksonville, Florida, two brothers, one of them the principal of a segregated, all-black school, wrote the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing” so his students could sing it for a tribute to Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. From that moment on, the song has provided inspiration and solace for generations of Black families. Mothers and fathers passed it on to their children who sang it to their children and grandchildren. It has been sung during major moments of the Civil Rights Movement and at family gatherings and college graduations.

    Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson

    From award-winning illustrator Bryan Collier, a stunning new picture book version of the well-known song that has become known as the African-American National Hymn

    We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands by Rafael Lopez

    Come and read along and sing along as we celebrate the magic of unity. From the rivers to the mountains to the oceans and to the sea — we’ve got the whole world in our hands.

    As an added bonus the sheet music is included in the back of the book for piano, guitar, and recorder for classroom, library, and home sing-alongs.

    I Am: God’s Affirmations for Little Girls by Belinda N. Mays

    This reflection of God’s truth includes memory versus paired with empowering poetry and breath-taking illustrations to help elementary aged girls build the confidence and courage to live by God’s standards.

    God’s Dream by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    It’s a wish that everyone will see they are brothers and sisters, no matter their way of speaking to God, no matter the size of their nose or the shade of their skin. Aided by vibrant artwork evoking such images as a rainbow and a sharing circle, Tutu offers the essence of his ubuntu philosophy, a wisdom so clear and crystalline that even the smallest child can understand.

    When Daddy Prays by Nikki Grimes

    In this collection of new poems by Nikki Grimes, a child learns about prayer from his father, whose prayers carry the family through each day — no matter what the circumstances.

    When I Pray for You by Matthew Paul Turner

    Do you pray over your children and family? If so, this is a definite must add to your collection. It’s SO beautifully written and is the perfect alternative for the book Oh, The Places You’ll Go…for praying families.

    It’s filled with all the hopes and dreams I have for my children as I raise them to be responsible adults.

    Your turn: What books would you add to this list?  Feel free to share in the comments.

    Share:
    diverse books, family fun

    The 2019 National AntiRacist Book Festival

    Have you heard all of buzz about the inaugural 2019 National AntiRacist Book Festival yet?  This ticketed event will be taking place on Saturday April 27, 2019 on AU’s Washington College of Law campus in the neighborhood of Tenleytown, Washington, D.C.  The event is hosted by American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center.

    Along with nationally renowned writers, journalists, poets, and scholars who have recently published critically acclaimed books, the festival will include workshops for aspiring writers with leading literary agents and book editors. This year’s inaugural festival primarily features authors of anti-black racism and its intersections.  There will also be free workshops for educators and youth, and workshops on photography and self-care.

    “The inaugural Antiracist Bookfest will offer one of the most distinguished lineups of anti-racist authors ever assembled for a book festival,” said National Book Award-winning author Ibram X. Kendi, the founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. “We are making history with this incredible collection of bestselling, award-winning and popular authors, who often headline events. We are delighted they each agreed to come together and launch the Antiracist Bookfest, while supporting our work in the Antiracist Research and Policy Center.”

    Sample of authors in attendance:

    National Book Critics Circle Award-winning historian Carol Anderson
    National Magazine Award-winning reporter Shane Bauer
    Bancroft Prize-winning Yale historian David Blight
    New York Times bestselling-author Robin DiAngelo
    National Book Award Finalist Erica Armstrong Dunbar
    Award-winning Harvard professor and filmmaker Henry Louis Gates
    New York Times bestselling-author Morgan Jerkins
    Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tyehimba Jess
    Award-winning Washington Post editor Steve Luxenberg
    Nationally renowned Campaign Zero Co-Founder DeRay McKesson
    New York Times bestselling author Ijeoma Oluo
    New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds
    Award-winning poet and writer Clint Smith
    PEN Open Book Award winner Nafissa Thompson-Spires
    New York Times bestselling author D. Watkins
    National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jacqueline Woodson
    Very Smart Brothas Cofounder Damon Young

    Ticketed portions of the festival will include author panel discussions and workshops for aspiring writers.  All proceeds from ticket sales for the Antiracist Bookfest will go to the work of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center, started at AU in fall 2017. The center is based on a new vision of change that’s grounded in historical revelation and focuses on policy change.

    To purchase tickets click here!

    Media members are required to RSVP with Rebecca Basu, American University Communications, 202-885-5950, basu@american.edu.  For more information about this event click here.

    Your turn: Are you planning to attend this event?  Feel free to share in the comments.

    Share:
    book reviews, children's books, diverse books

    Women’s History Month: Our Legendary Ladies Presents Anandi Gopal Joshi (A Book Review)

    I received this book for free from MCP Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    Anandi Gopal Joshi Published by MCP Books Format: Hardcover
    Source: MCP Books
    Buy on Indie Bound
    four-stars

    A baby book highlighting the life of Anandi Gopal Joshi, the first Indian woman to receive a western medical degree and a trailblazer for women's rights and education.

    The second board book in the Our Legendary Ladies series, this board book introduces tiny readers (ages birth – 4 and up) to Anandi Gopal Joshi.  Born on March 31, 1865, Anandi Gopal Joshi was one of the first Indian female physicians.

    Joshi was married at the age of just nine, which was common in 19th century India, to a man 20 years older than her.  She gave birth to their first child when she was 14, but her baby son died 10 days later due to a lack of medical care for women.  The death of her son served as her motivation to study medicine.

    During a time when it was unthinkable for a woman to get an education, Anandi defied the odds and came to America to study medicine at the Women’s College of Philadelphia.  She later returned to India and received special recognition and congratulations from Queen Victoria.  Anandi dreamed of opening a medical college for women, but due to an early death from tuberculosis on 26 February, 1887, her dream was never realized.  She died at the age of 21.

    In 1997, a crater on the planet Venus was named after Anandi by the International Astronomical Union.  She is one of the few notable to receive this honor.

    Although Anandi’s life was short lived and she is lesser-known, she was a true inspiration and pioneer of her time.

    About the Our Legendary Ladies Book Series
    The books are written by Megan Callea and illustrated by Jennifer Howard.  For each featured lady in this book series, a leading historian signs off on the final version of the book.  Each book is well researched and fact checked for accuracy.  In addition, for each book purchased, a portion of the proceeds, and books, will be donated to these non-profits: Bright by ThreeJumpstart and Operation Showers of Appreciation.  Following Anandi Gopal Joshi, future Our Legendary Ladies books will include Sacagawea, Amelia Earhart and Anne Frank.

    For more information about Our Legendary Ladiesclick here to visit the official website.

    four-stars
    Share:
    diverse books

    Diversity in Publishing from A to Z: A List of Book Publishers Who Specialize in Diversity and Inclusion

    While diversity in publishing has been at the forefront of some conversations in the publishing industry as of late, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.  It’s no secret the publishing remains a majority White middle-class dominated industry.  For example, according to Lee and Low’s Diversity Gap in Children’s Books annual survey, Black, Latinx, and Native authors combined wrote just 7% of new children’s books published in 2018.

    So the question remains, what can we (the general public) do to help?

    One of the most important things we can do is support, read and help promote minority voices and diverse/inclusive books and the publishers who create them.  This includes purchasing books from independent bookstores or online and borrowing books from your local library.  If your bookstore or library doesn’t have the book you are looking for request it so they know there is a demand. If you don’t have the budget to buy books, use the library.

    Oftentimes, I request my local libraries to order books, even if we already own it or I plan to buy a copy for our home collection.  This way it will be added to the library’s collection and someone who can’t afford it will have the chance to read it.  I think of it as a nice way to pay it forward to others and still support diverse literature.

    Below I’ve rounded up a list of book publishers who support and specialize in publishing diverse and inclusive books.  While I’m aware many of the larger publishing houses also publish diverse books, this list focuses on: some larger publishers who exclusively publish diverse books, diverse imprints of larger publishing houses, and some smaller/independent publishers who publish diverse books.  You can find most of these publishers on social media including: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.  If you find a new publisher from this list, give them a follow!

    Agate Bolden – Publishes adult and children’s books that focus on African American writers, fiction and nonfiction.
    Amistad – The oldest publisher dedicated to multicultural voices.  Publishes picture books through young adult works by and about people of African descent that discuss historical and cultural themes.  An imprint of HarperCollins.
    Baobab Publishing – An independent publishing company that specializes in creating quality multicultural children’s books.
    Barefoot Books – Publishes books that “open windows to other cultures and perspectives, while also providing children of all backgrounds and abilities with a much-needed mirror of their own experiences.”
    Beach House Publishing – Publishes board, picture and chapter books that caters to Hawaiian children
    Bharat Babies – Publishes children’s books about India with a story for everyone.
    Brown Girls Books – Publishes adult and children’s books written by Black female authors. Black owned.
    Caribbean Reads – Publishes children’s and adult books that feature Caribbean authors and/or Caribbean themes.
    Cassava Republic Press – Publishes fiction and non-fiction books for adults and children specializing in catering to African writing.
    Cinco Puntos – With roots on the U.S./Mexico border, Cinco Puntos publishes great books which make a difference in the way you see the world.
    Denene Millner Books – An imprint of Agate Publishing that publishes books specifically for children of color
    Feminist Press – Publishes books to amplify women’s rights and feminist perspectives
    Flamingo Rampant – Publishes feminist, racially-diverse, LGBTQ+ positive children’s books
    Groundwood Books – A publisher committed to publishing books for and about children whose experiences of the world are under-represented elsewhere.
    Highwater Press – Publishes a broad range of authentic Indigenous-authored stories. A rich mix of novels, graphic novels, and children’s books, these captivating and exceptional award-winning titles will challenge and engage readers of all ages.
    Inhabit Media – An inuit-owned publishing company that aims to promote and preserve the stories, knowledge and talent of northern Canada.
    Interlude Press – An award-winning boutique publisher of LGBTQ+ general and romantic fiction.
    Just Us Books – Publishes books for children of color
    Kamehameha Publishing – Publishes adult and children’s books that amplify Hawaiian perspectives, culture and language.
    KitaabWorld – A publishing company passionate about making South Asian children’s literature more accessible and easily available in the US.  They advocate to spread awareness about South Asian culture, and provide resources for teachers, librarians and parents.
    Kokila – An imprint of Penguin Random House that brings together an inclusive community of authors and illustrators, publishing professionals, and readers to examine and celebrate stories that reflect the richness of our world.  They publish children’s and young adult books.
    Lantana Publishing – Publishes award-winning diverse and inclusive children’s books that celebrate children in the UK school system who identify as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME).
    Lee and Low Books – The largest publisher of award-winning diverse board, picture and chapter books for children.  Lee and Low makes a special effort to work with unpublished authors and illustrators of color.
    Lil’ Libros – Promotes bilingualism and Latin American culture through picture board books.
    Make Me a World – A forthcoming 2019 imprint that will publish books that “open up new worlds, possibilities, and pathways for young readers of all ages. Focused on bringing voices of diverse thinkers and artists from all walks of life” into the limelight.
    Marimba Books – A multicultural children’s book imprint of Just Us Books dedicated to publishing titles that reflect America’s diversity
    Melanin Origins – Publishes quality educational materials which inspire young minds to aspire for excellence while embracing their heritage.  Black owned.
    Nothing But the Truth Publishing – An independent publishing house specializing in books written by diverse female authors.
    Orca Book Publishers – An independently owned Canadian children’s book publisher who publishes award-winning diverse books
    Penny Candy Books – A small publishing house that honors diversity and fosters big conversations.
    Piñata Books – A publisher dedicated to the realistic and authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States.
    Plum Street Press – A New Orleans based publisher that publishes books for children of color just being everyday kids
    Red Bone Press – Publishes work celebrating the cultures of black lesbians and gay men, and work that further promotes understanding between black gays and lesbians and the black mainstream.
    Read and Glow Books – A publishing company specializing in helping to empower and inspire children “to take pride in their individuality, and to see the beauty of their true selves”.  Black owned.
    Saffron Press – Publishes diverse books specializing in inspiring citizens of change
    Salaam Reads – A Muslim children’s book imprint from Simon & Schuster
    Sankofa Books – An imprint of Just Us Books dedicated to publishing out of print diverse children’s books
    Second Story Press – Publishes feminist-inspired books for young readers and adults
    Shade Mountain Press Specializes in literature written by women — particularly women of color, women with disabilities, women from working-class backgrounds, and women who identify queer/lesbian/bisexual.
    Stone Bridge Press – Publishes books about Asians with an emphasis on Japanese culture.
    The Road Runner Press – A publisher dedicated to publishing juvenile + adult titles by Native Americans.
    Third World Press – Publishes books for African-American children, young adults and adults. Black owned.
    Tiny Owl Publishing – Publishes high quality picture books promoting cultural diversity. Based in the UK.
    Tu Books – An imprint of Lee and Low Books that publishes diverse middle grade and YA books.
    Versify – An imprint of HMH books started by Newbery Award–winning author Kwame Alexander. Features diverse books for children and young adults.
    Yali Books – An independent publisher of picture books, young adult books and graphic novels with a focus on South Asian cultures.

    Your turn: Did you learn about any new publishers after reading this list?  What publishers would you add to this list?  Feel free to share in the comments.

    Share:
    black history, children's books, diverse books

    Black History Picture Book Bingo + Free Downloads!

    I am SO excited to share these Black History Picture Book Bingo cards with you!  When I came across author Kathy Ellen Davis’s Picture Book Bingo on Instagram, I immediately shared it with my Instagram audience.  I then reached out to Kathy and asked if she would create a Black History themed bingo card for me and she kindly said YES!

    If you’ve never played book bingo before, it’s pretty easy and straightforward.  Just read books to correspond with the categories on the card.  I’d recommend it for anyone who:

    • Enjoys reading
    • Likes reading new types of books they wouldn’t normally read
    • Likes to be challenged
    • Is a consistent and dedicated enough reader to complete the challenge

    Most of all, book bingo is about having FUN – even if you don’t complete the entire bingo card due to that thing called “life” we all live.  Really, though, if you enjoy books, I highly recommend giving this a shot at least one time through.  You can do it on your own, with your own children/grandchildren, other family members, friends or with your students.

    To create these bingo cards, I came up with different categories of books and Kathy was generous enough to hand letter them on her own!  I have a huge list of other categories that are not included on these cards so expect to see other versions of these bingo cards on occasion throughout the year.

    I think book bingo is a wonderful opportunity for kids (and adults) to have fun while reading, along with adding an extra incentive to complete the BINGO card.  Have you played book bingo before?

    Download the Black History Month Picture Book Bingo Card here

    Download the Black History Picture Book Bingo Card here

    Why two different versions?

    Use the Black History Month Picture Book Bingo card if you want to use it ONLY during the month of February which is Black History Month.

    Use the Black History Picture Book Bingo card if you want to use it any time during the year.

    Make sense?

    If you need book suggestions, you may want to browse some of my previous blog posts linked below:

    50+ Picture Book Biographies Featuring Males of African Descent

    9+ Black Inventors You May Have Missed In History Class

    Black History Books for 3, 4 & 5 Year-Olds

    29 Black Picture Books for Black History Month, Or Any Month

    18 Picture Books That Help Keep Dr. King’s Dream Alive


    Happy Reading!

     

     

    Your turn: Do you find these Bingo cards to be helpful?  Will you participate and try it?  Feel free to share in the comments.  I’d love to hear your thoughts and perhaps see photos of your completed Bingo cards!  If you share about this, use the hashtag #bhpbingo so I’ll see your posts.

    Share:
    black history, children's books, diverse books

    Let’s Hear It for the Boys: 50+ Picture Book Biographies to Read Year Round featuring Males of African Descent

    This round-up of picture books highlights prominent and a few lesser-known male leaders of African descent.  Each male featured has a distinct story and legacy, but they all share some commonalities: poise and confidence that no doubt added to their iconic statuses. I hope you’ll enjoy this list and explore each story to witness their perseverance through oppression and their determination through struggle.  These books are great to read during Black History Month or anytime of the year.

    Happy Reading!

    Art Tatum

    Art Tatum, an African American pianist, and one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time, was born in 1909, in Toledo, Ohio.  Did you know he was blind in one eye and visually impaired in the other?  He was an amazing child prodigy with perfect pitch who learned to play the piano by ear.

    Arturo Schomburg

    Arthur Schomburg was a Puerto Rican historian, writer, and activist in the United States who researched and raised awareness of the great contributions that Afro-Latin Americans and African-Americans have made to society.

    Barack Obama

    Barack Hussein Obama is an American attorney and politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017.

    Bass Reeves

    Bass Reeves was the first Black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River. He worked mostly in Arkansas and the Oklahoma Territory.  During his long career, he was credited with arresting more than 3,000 felons. He shot and killed 14 outlaws in self-defense.

    Bob Marley

    Bob Marley was a powerful musician and messenger; a poet and prophet of reggae culture. His music echoed from Jamaica all the way across the globe, spreading his heartfelt message of peace, love, and equality to everyone who heard his songs.

    Carter G. Woodson

    Carter G. Woodson is known as The “Father” of Black History.  He dedicated his life to educating African Americans about the achievements and contributions of their ancestors.

    Charles White

    Born in Chicago in 1918, Charles W. White was one of America’s most renowned and recognized African-American & Social Realist artists.

    Charlie Sifford

    Charles Luther Sifford was a professional golfer who was the first African American to play on the PGA Tour.

    Claude Mason Steele

    Claude Mason Steele is an American social psychologist.  He is best known for his work on stereotype threat and its application to minority student academic performance.

    Clive Campbell

    Born in 1955 in Kingston, Jamaica, Clive Campbell is known as “The Father of Hip Hop”.

    Cornelius Washington

    Cornelius Washington was a veteran French Quarter sanitation worker who became famous following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    David Drake

    David Drake, also known as Dave the Potter, was an American potter who lived in Edgefield, South Carolina. Dave produced over 100 alkaline-glazed stoneware jugs between the 1820s and the 1860s.

    Dizzy Gillespie (John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie)

    John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and singer. Some call him one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all times.

    Ernie Barnes

    Ernie Barnes was an African-American painter, well known for his unique style of elongation and movement. He was also a professional football player, actor and author.  Did you know his popular paintings were featured in the sitcom Good Times?

    Frederick Douglass

    Famed 19th-century author and orator Frederick Douglass was an eminent human rights leader in the anti-slavery movement and the first African-American citizen to hold a high U.S. government rank.

    George Crum

    Meet George Crum, inventor of potato chips!

    George Fletcher

    George Fletcher was the first African American to compete for a world championship in bronco riding at the 1911 Pendleton Roundup.

    George Moses Horton

    George Moses Horton was an African-American poet from North Carolina, the first to be published in the Southern United States. His book The Hope of Liberty was published in 1829 while he was still enslaved.

    Gordon Parks

    A man of many talents, Gordon Parks is most famous for being the first Black director in Hollywood.

    Henry Brown

    Henry “Box” Brown was an enslaved man who shipped himself to freedom in a wooden box.

    Horace Pippin

    Horace Pippin was a self-taught African-American painter.

    Howard Thurman

    Howard Washington Thurman was a Black author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader.

    Jacob Lawrence

    Jacob Lawrence was one of the most important artists of the 20th century, widely renowned for his modernist depictions of everyday life as well as epic narratives of African American history and historical figures.

    Jackie Robinson

    Jackie Robinson broke boundaries as the first African American player in Major League Baseball. But long before Jackie changed the world in a Dodger uniform, he did it in an army uniform.

    James Madison Hemings

    Madison Hemings, born James Madison Hemings, was the son of the mixed-race enslaved Sally Hemings. He was the third of her four children— fathered by her master, President Thomas Jefferson.

    James Van Der Zee

    James Van Der Zee was an African-American photographer known for his distinctive portraits from the Harlem Renaissance.

    Jean-Michel Basquiat

    Jean-Michel Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocketed to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art world had ever seen.

    Jimmy “Wink” Winkfield

    Born into an African American sharecropping family in 1880s Kentucky, Jimmy Winkfield grew up loving horses. He later went on to become the last Black jockey to win the Kentucky Derby.

    John Coltrane

    John William Coltrane was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.

    John Lewis

    John Roy Lynch

    John Roy Lynch was the first African American Speaker of the House in Mississippi. He was also one of the first African American members of the U.S House of Representatives during Reconstruction, the period in United States history after the Civil War.

    Langston Hughes

    James Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri.

    Lonnie Johnson

    Meet the inventor of the Super Soaker Water Gun!

    Malcolm X

    Malcolm X was an American Muslim minister and human rights activist.

    Martin Luther King Jr.

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist during  the Civil Rights Movement.

    Michael Jordan

    Regarded by most as the NBA’s greatest all-time player, Michael Jordan won six titles with the Chicago Bulls.

    Muhammad Ali

    Muhammad Ali was an American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist. Nicknamed “The Greatest”, he is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest boxers of all time.

    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Neil deGrasse Tyson, is an American astrophysicist whose work has inspired a generation of young scientists and astronomers to reach for the stars!

    Nelson Mandela

    Born on July 18, 1918 Nelson Mandela is best known for promoting messages of forgiveness, peace and equality.

    Paul Laurence Dunbar

    Born on June 27, 1872, Paul Laurence Dunbar was one of the first African American poets to gain national recognition.

    Paul Robeson

    Paul Leroy Robeson was an American bass baritone concert artist and stage and film actor who became famous both for his cultural accomplishments and for his political activism.

    Ray Charles

    Ray Charles Robinson, known professionally as Ray Charles, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and composer.

    Richard Wright

    Pioneering African-American writer Richard Wright is best known for the classic texts Black Boy and Native Son.

    Romare Bearden

    Romare Bearden was a visual artist who utilized painting, cartoons, and collage to depict African-American life.

    Thurgood Marshall

    Thurgood Marshall was an American lawyer, serving as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from October 1967 until October 1991. He was the Court’s 96th justice and its first African-American justice.

    Vivien Thomas

    Overcoming racism and resistance from his colleagues, Vivien ushered in a new era of medicine—children’s heart surgery. This book is the compelling story of this incredible pioneer in medicine.

    Wendell O. Scott

    Wendell Oliver Scott was the first African American race car driver to win a race in what would now be considered part of the Sprint Cup Series.

    William “Doc” Key

    William “Doc” Key, a formerly enslaved man and self-taught veterinarian believed in treating animals with kindness, patience, and his own homemade remedies.

    William “Bill” Lewis

    William “Bill” Lewis was an enslaved man who earned enough money being a blacksmith and set a daring plan in motion: to free his family.

    William J. Powell

    William J. Powell was an American businessman, entrepreneur, and pioneering golf course owner who designed the Clearview Golf Club, the first integrated golf course, as well as the first to cater to African-American golfers.

    Your turn: Did you learn about someone or something new after reading this post?  What other books would you add to this list?  Feel free to share in the comments.

    Share:
    black history, book reviews, children's books, diverse books, giveaways

    Black History Month: Waiting for Pumpsie + A Giveaway!

    waitingforpumpsie

    I received this book for free from Charlesbridge in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    Waiting for Pumpsie by Barry Wittenstein
    Published by Charlesbridge Format: Hardcover
    Source: Charlesbridge
    Buy on AmazonBuy on Indie Bound
    five-stars

    In 1959 the Boston Red Sox was the last team in the Major Leagues to integrate. But when they call Elijah “Pumpsie” Green up from the minors, Bernard is overjoyed to see a black player on his beloved home team. And, when Pumpsie’s first home game is scheduled, Bernard and his family head to Fenway Park. Bernard is proud of Pumpsie and hopeful that this historic event is the start of great change in America.

    This fictionalized account captures the true story of baseball player Pumpsie Green’s rise to the major leagues. The story is a snapshot of the Civil Rights Movement and a great discussion starter about the state of race relations in the United States today.

    Waiting for Pumpsie is based on a fictional character named Bernard and his family, but based on true events from Pumpsie Green’s life.

    All Pumpsie Green wanted to do was play baseball. He didn’t aspire to play for the major leagues initially, but he eventually went on to become the first Black baseball player to integrate the Boston Red Sox. Although Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball in 1947, it took the Red Sox another twelve years to integrate their team. They were the last team in Major League Baseball to have a Black player.

    This is an inspiring and feel good story about equality and change. Pumpsie Green is currently still alive today and is sometimes invited back to Fenway Park to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at Red Sox games.

    Click here to see a list of the first Black players for each Major League Baseball team.

    About the Author
    Barry has been a bartender, taxi driver, song writer, substitute teacher and writer for the Major League Baseball.  He grew up as a Mets fan and was eight years old when he first heard the name Pumpsie Green.  He lives in Manhattan with his wife and son.  Visit his website: onedogwoof.com.

    About the Illustrator
    London Ladd currently lives in Syracuse, New York.  He’s a graduate of Syracuse University with a BFA in Illustration. He has illustrated numerous critically acclaimed children’s books including March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World (Scholastic), written by Christine King Farris, the older sister of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Frederick’s Journey: The Life of Frederick Douglass (Disney/Jump at the Sun), written by Doreen Rappaport, and Midnight Teacher: Lilly Ann Granderson and her Secret School (Lee & Low Books), written by Janet Halfmann.  His goal is to open an art center in Syracuse so that young people and families can create their own art.  Visit his website: londonladd.com.

    The Giveaway!
    One (1) winner will receive a copy of Waiting for Pumpsie courtesy of Charlesbridge Publishing.  Open to all US based residents age 18 and over.  Good Luck!

    Waiting for Pumpsie Book Giveaway

    five-stars
    Share: