With book bans sweeping the country, I felt the need to record some of the words I’ve written, just in case. Cherry Lake publishing has released a phenomenal Black Achievement series, designed by Kelissa Wing, just in time for Black History Month. I am honored to have written 3 titles, one of which I’ll preview here.
More Than ‘Black Girl Magic’
In this episode, you’ll hear about Dr. Tai-Danae Bradley who looks more like a girl-next-door Instagram model than any mathematician I was ever introduced to in school. Reading her blog and watching her Youtube videos was actually interesting for me–a confirmed anti-mather! The greatest thing about introducing living (Black) American heroes is that your students can see themselves reflected in the here and now. These are people your students can follow on Twitter and Instagram, which makes their achievements feel much more relevant than our normal content connections to old dead people. Not that old dead people aren’t great, but who wants to grow up to be dead and then famous? Certainly not your students who see instafame on the regular.
I’ll be previewing other lesser known Black History heroes in the coming weeks, but I hope you’ll do some research on your own with your students to discover other American stories beyond Martin and Rosa. I hope also, that you will consider investing in books that highlight those stories. As you consider what choices you make for your class library and how much say the state has in those choices, make sure you invest in literature you feel is valuable. And as always, remember to vote your conscience, not only in national but also upcoming local elections. Our democracy depends on it.