Library Hotel

Library Hotel
Library Hotel

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Overheard on the Subway

A friend of mine was on the subway near three middle school-aged kids—an Asian boy, a Latina, and a Middle Eastern girl wearing a hijab, the headscarf worn by many Muslim women.

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Latino in America: The Horror Movie?

OK, tell me that this CNN promo does not sound just a little bit like the trailer for a horror movie:

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.3810859&w=425&h=350&fv=affiliateSiteId%3D18188%26amp%3BwidgetId%3D27552%26amp%3Bwidth%3D420%26amp%3Bheight%3D338%26amp%3BkaShare%3D1%26amp%3BautoPlay%3D0%26amp%3BmediaType_mediaID%3Dvideo_807910] If the video does not appear, you may need to download the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

The first time I saw this ad, I was sitting on the couch with my roomate. “Oh my God,” she said, “I can’t believe how racist that sounded.”

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This Week in Diversity: Changes in the Landscape

It’s easy to think of racial groups as cultural monoliths: black culture is like this, Asian culture is like that. An article on culture clashes between recent immigrants from Africa and African Americans, many of them descendants of slaves whose families have been in the U.S. for centuries, reminds us of the complexity. It also opens a window into perceptions of blackness and Africanness, as when a recent African immigrant says of African Americans, “Those people, they don’t respect African people,” or when a black American says of a black African, “They think they’re better than black people.”

Continuing with the idea of blackness in America, Ta-Nahesi Coates brings us a beautifully written essay on blackness, obesity, segregation, and shame. I keep coming back to this line: “Segregation was a cocoon brimming with all the lovely variety of black life.”

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Teen Driver Safety Week & The Wild World of E-Books

This week is officially National Teen Driver Safety Week!

Now, before you think to yourself, “How many more of these random ‘holidays’ can there possibly be in one calendar year,” consider this: 1 in 4 crash fatalities in the US involves someone between the ages of 16 and 24. Nothing —not drugs, not sex, not rock n’ roll—kills more teens than driving, and the risk of a fatal crash goes up with each additional peer passenger in the car. This time of year the number of accidents goes up even higher because of things like homecoming. Take a look at these Teen Driving Safety Tips for ideas on raising safe young drivers.

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Book Guilt

Since this weekend, I’ve been reading some of the tributes to children’s book author Norma Fox Mazer, who passed away this weekend. And with my sadness that a woman who was by many accounts a wonderful person and writer is with us no longer, there is another emotion: guilt. Because I haven’t read a single one of Norma Fox Mazer’s thirty-three books. Not the Newbery Honor book, not the National Book Award Nominee, not the Edgar award winner.

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This Week in Diversity: A Loving Journey

We’ll start things out with the bad news: a justice of the peace in Louisiana refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple. His justification? That any children the couple had might suffer discrimination. A quick history review: it was 1967 when the U.S. Supreme court ruled in the case Loving v. Virginia that race-based legal restrictions on marriage are unconstitutional. In other marriage-relate news, same-sex couples can still only get married in six states.

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Any excuse to list my favorite poems

Saturday is Black Poetry Day! And while sometimes these super-specific holidays can be a mixed blessing (if October 17 is Black Poetry Day, what are the other 364 days of the year?) I just can’t be against any holiday that celebrates poetry. Here are a few of my favorite poems by African American writers. Er, top five, let’s make it, otherwise I’d just go on forever. . .Love to Langston

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Christy Hale BookTalks about The East-West House

Christy Hale

Christy Hale

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Poll of the Week: What Do You Look For in a Book

Howard Thurman readingI was talking to a friend recently about why we read. When she reads a book, she’s looking for plot: a good story that grabs her and pulls her headlong through the book. When her boyfriend reads, he’s looking for interesting use of language and, most of all, characters: realistic, interesting people whose psychological depths are plumbed. There isn’t much overlap in their favorite books; not because one of them has bad taste in books, but because they want something very different out of the books they read.

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Exploring Children's Books Through the Lens of Diversity