Black children of today are being forced to face literally a world of uncertainty and so much pain. Still, that doesn’t mean that the world they look at is without its potentials and that their efforts won’t make an impact.
In light of recent events, we’ve gathered a list of children’s books to read to your children as a reminder that they are powerful and that Black lives really matter.
Hey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins, illustrated by Bryan Collier
This poetic and lyrical children’s book for Black readers is a reminder to dream big. Beautifully illustrated and perfect for out-loud reading, this book will instill pride in the radical and cultural identity of those who are Black.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Published in 1962, The Snowy Day is a children’s book that follows Peter, an African American boy, who takes a walk around his neighborhood after the season’s first snowfall. Written by Ezra Keats this book received the 1963 Caldecott Medal for its artwork and was the first picture book that featured an African American protagonist.
Ages 2 and up
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
This book might be intended for children ages 3 to 7 but it’s an important one for children and people of all ages. Educational and inspiring this book is a dedication to forty Black women in American history. Flip through these pages and learn more about the activists like abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, and poet Maya Angelou.
Ages 3 – 7
Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry
Teach your little one about self-love and Black beauty with this book about Zuri a girl who has hair with a mind of its own. Fortunately, her dad steps in to take up the phone and help her sort through her kinks, coils for a special event.
Ages 4 – 8
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o
Written by Black actress Lupita Nyong’o, this whimsical book is a celebration of Black skin and beauty. Nyong’o’scharacter Sulwe has skin the color of midnight and yearns to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister but a magical journey in the night sky, fortunately, changes her opinion of everything.
Ages 4 – 8
He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands by Kadir Nelson
Nelson’s children’s book takes flight with one of America’s best-known songs and follows a boy and his family as they live in and engage in the world we live in.
Share this story with all of your friends by tapping our little share buttons below!
George Floyd was killed by police on Memorial Day during an arrest in Minneapolis. Cities have experienced large-scale protests and unrest demanding justice for Floyd and his family. His 6-year-old daughter Gianna recently spoke with “Good Morning America” about her father and you will need some tissues.
“Dad changed the world.”
“Good Morning America” recently sat down with Gianna Floyd, George Floyd’s daughter, and her mother Roxie Washington. The two were asked about George and the man/father he was leading up to his death in police custody. Gianna remembered her dad as someone who was always there to play with her. Now, she remembers him for being a man who changed the world and becoming a name that everyone knows.
Washington had nothing but good things to say about Gianna’s father. George, according to Washington, was an exceptional father to Gianna and had moved to Minneapolis from Houston to better provide for his daughter. Washington first learned that George had been killed through a phone call from a friend. She found the video online and could only watch a small portion of it before crying.
Through tears, Washington explains that she hasn’t been able to tell Gianna the real way that George had died. It is too hard for her to explain George’s death and Washington wishes she would have been able to do something about it.
A fundraiser for Gianna is up on GoFundMe and has raised more than $1 million for the young girl.
There have been several fake GoFundMe pages crop up for Gianna but there is only one official one managed by Stewart Trial Attorneys. The legal team is not collecting any of the funds raised through GoFundMe. If you would like to donate to Gianna’s fund, you can click here.
Gianna’s own words about her father’s legacy are leaving an impression on everyone who hears her.
Four words with so much power have gone viral on social media. “Daddy changed the world,” Gianna says as she rides on George’s best friend’s shoulders. Gianna might not fully understand how her father has changed the world but it is clear that she knows that his life mattered and that his life has the chance to generate much-needed change in the U.S.
Stay strong, Gianna. Your father clearly loved you so much. His life is making a difference because your dad is going to change the world.
When you’re a Latina who’s walked through life receiving a slew of comments, like “you’re pretty for a morena” or “you could be cute if you fixed that pelo malo,” you know that it isn’t always easy finding women in media who look like you. Let alone in the fields of academia and literature. With our world seemingly turned upside down, FIERCEis paying homage to Latinas who have worked to empower Black women through their words and thoughts on Afro-Latinidad.
Check out some of our favorite powerful Latinas celebrating our roots below.
Elizabeth Acevedo is an Afro-Dominican spoken word poet and author who hails from New York City. With each line that she delivers, Acevedo does members of the Latino community a favor by highlighting and praising its African ancestry. Her work lovingly celebrates the influence her Blackness has impressed upon her own cultural traditions. “My first language I spoke was Spanish/ Learned from lullabies whispered in my ear/ My parents’ tongue was a gift which I quickly forgot after realizing my peers did not understand it./ They did not understand me,” she says in her poem “Afro-Latina.” Besides holding an impressive presence on Instagram, Acevedo has addressed TEDTalk stages, appeared on BET and Mun2, and authored books like “The Poet X” and “Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths.”
The “I Mean, I Guess” author has an African-American father and a mother who hails from the Dominican Republic. She has spoken openly about feeling isolated from both cultures. Her poem “Negra Bella” is about empowerment and finding your own way.
Del Orbe is a formerly undocumented immigrant from the Dominican Republic who writes and performs spoken word poetry. Her Instagram page features a collection of her poems, thoughts presented as a stream of consciousness, photos, and memes. Her poetry works to shed light on issues facing the Afro-Dominican community, including the immigrant experience. Braiding her desires to promote resistance and visibility for low-income immigration, Del Orbe’s work is definitely one for any poetry enthusiast to watch.
Ariana Brown is an African-American-Mexican-American poet whose experience of being raised in San Antonio, Texas largely inspired her to create the Afro-Latina representation that she often missed out on while growing up. Brown’s poetry takes on so many of the issues Latinas are forced to deal with, including race, ethnicity, culture, and sexual orientation. In poems like “Inhale: The Ceremony,” the Black writer addresses the ways in which African ancestry is often erased and discredited in history as well as in modern cultures.
Through her numerous posts on Instagram, Rodriguez’s use of the social platform proves that as an artist she prefers to dabble in more than just one art form. She models, opens up about her long-term pursuit of education via physical therapy, and writes epic poems that will excite the heart of any Latina who has ever doubted the beauty and power of her rizos. The Afro-Dominicana from the Bronx, New York uses her poetic verses to remind readers that Black Latinos are “proof of survival and resilience” and that “‘Black don’t crack’ is more than just skin deep.”
If you have yet to be blessed with the words and observations of this Cuban-Puerto Rican, prepare for an earthquake of emotion that her words will undoubtedly bring out in you. Back in 2014, the Afro-Latina made waves across the Internet when she performed her spoken word poem “Patriarchy.” The piece speaks to the constant sexualization from men and media that so many women often endure. These days, Marco is still stomping down the patriarchy and fighting against colorism, racism, sexism, and other systems of oppression.
Monet is a Cuban-Jamaican poet, writer, and lyricist from Brooklyn, New York. Back in 2007, when she was 19, she became the youngest poet to ever become the Nuyorican Poets Café Grand Slam Champion. For any Latina finding herself enraged, disheartened, or infuriated by today’s post-2016 election, Monet’s politically driven poems will give you something to lean on. Her work speaks to the everyday struggles of being a Black woman, racism, Trump, sisterhood, solidarity, and displacement. She has two published books, including “The Black Unicorn Sings” and “My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter.”
Ingram became a New York Knicks Poetry Slam Champion back in 2011 and was a member of the 2013 Nuyorican Grand Slam team. The Bronx-born poet has published her work for two books: “Growl and Snare” as well as “Another Black Girl Miracle.” Each and every one of her words is steeped with intention and speaks to the Black girl’s experience with a strong sense of wisdom and self-love.