Category Archives: Race

The Importance of Black Joy in Children’s Books: A Conversation with Kelly J. Baptist and Darnell Johnson

A few years ago, conversations surrounding the importance of joyful books that feature Black characters finally started to pick up steam. Though BIPOC readers, specifically Black readers, have noticed the lack of joyful diverse books for some time, publishing is finally getting to a  place of recognition that Black characters are more than just oppression and a teaching moment for outside readers. BIPOC are just like everyone else with varied lived experiences that aren’t always rooted in pain. In this guest blog post, we hear from author Kelly J. Baptist and illustrator Darnell Johnson to discuss the importance of Black joy in children’s books and how that translated into their newest title The Electric Slide and Kai.

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Anti-Racism Diverse Books for Grades 6-8+

Are you looking to add anti-racist books to your library but don’t know where to start? Have you been thinking about how to have meaningful conversations with young people about race, but lack confidence in how to begin? The books in our Anti-Racism Reading List will help you take the first steps or continue the critical discussions about anti-racism work relevant to your setting.

In this blog post, we’ve rounded up books from our anti-racism reading list for grades 6 and up. You can find more of our anti-racism titles in our Anti-Racism Diverse Reading List and the corresponding book collection.

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Anti-Racism Diverse Books for Grades 3-5

Are you looking to add anti-racist books to your library but don’t know where to start? Have you been thinking about how to have meaningful conversations with young people about race, but lack confidence in how to begin? The books in our Anti-Racism Reading List will help you take the first steps or continue the critical discussions about anti-racism work relevant to your setting.

In this blog post, we’ve rounded up books from our anti-racism reading list for grades 3-5. You can find more of our anti-racism titles in our Anti-Racism Diverse Reading List and the corresponding book collection.

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Teaching Social Justice in Schools: Facing Institutional Opposition

What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Activity Book is a collaboration between Laleña Garcia and Caryn Davidson, both professional educators and activists with the Black Lives Matter at Schools NYC organizing group. Learn the story behind What We Believe here and how the author and illustrator define activism and allyship in the first two installments.

Today, in the third installment of our conversation, Laleña and Caryn share tips and suggestions for educators who face institutional opposition when bringing learning about BLM, social justice, and activism into their classrooms: Continue reading

Anti-Racism Diverse Book List for Grades PreK-8

What does it mean to be anti-racist? Several definitions exist, but Ibram X. Kendi’s embodies the actionable steps behind anti-racist work: “The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it– and then dismantle it.” Continue reading

Black History Month Resources Roundup

For Black History Month, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite resources for readers and educators alike. Though this month is dedicated to uplifting Black history, culture, movements, and gamechangers, we must remember that Black history IS American history and should be celebrated all year round.

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Anti-Racism Diverse Books for Grades PreK-2

Are you looking to add anti-racist books to your library but don’t know where to start? Have you been thinking about how to have meaningful conversations with young people about race, but lack confidence in how to begin? The books in our Anti-Racism Reading List will help you take the first steps or continue the critical discussions about anti-racism work relevant to your setting.

In this blog post, we’ve rounded up books from our anti-racism reading list for grades PreK-2. You can find more of our anti-racism titles in our Anti-Racism Diverse Reading List and the corresponding book collection.

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Defining Activism and Allyship: An Interview with Laleña Garcia and Caryn Davidson

What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Activity Book is a collaboration between Laleña Garcia, who identifies as Black, and Caryn Davidson, who identifies as white. After learning author Laleña Garcia’s story behind What We Believe, we asked the author and illustrator to share a bit about their partnership, and how they define the role of activist and ally.

What We BelieveHow do you define activism?

Laleña Garcia: In my school, we talk about activists as people who work together with other people to make the world a better place. We emphasize the importance of collective action and solidarity, and that, even though we sometimes learn about one or two people — like Martin Luther King, Jr. or Rosa Parks — they had to work together with lots of other people to make change.

There’s a part of me that thinks that individual actions — like turning off the lights, recycling, or choosing to buy from BIPOC-owned businesses — is part of being a good, decent, human, but is maybe a little bit different from being an activist, but it’s not something I’m willing to have a fight about. If you’re organizing other people to do those things, or writing letters to people in power to get them to make changes, then I think it’s more like activism, because of the collective nature.

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Free Upcoming Webinar: Black Lives Matter in the Classroom

Learn about how to bring the Black Lives Matter movement into your school, classroom, library or home in this powerful discussion on Wednesday, January 20th at 4:00 PM ET.

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What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Principles Activity Book

What We BelieveLee & Low Books is proud to announce the forthcoming publication of What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Principles Activity Book, written by Laleña Garcia and illustrated by Caryn Davidson. Created by two teachers with more than thirty-five years of educational experience between them, the book presents the underlying ideas of Black Lives Matter in down-to-earth, child-friendly language, with writing prompts and artistic activities accompanying each principle. Supporting materials guide adults in talking about the movement with children and encourage kids to dream big and take action within their communities.

What We Believe will be published in paperback and e-book on October 27, 2020, and is now available for preorder at all retailers (PB ISBN 9781643794778; e-book ISBN 9781643794785). Lee & Low Books will donate a portion of its proceeds from the book to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. Continue reading