My husband has been gone for the past five days on business. This means I’ve been on constant mommy duty. You know how many questions you get while on mommy duty? A lot. How do you answer when asked why water is a liquid? Internet, I just don’t know. What I do know is that my brain is tired. So tired.
My mother, a former teacher who can’t stop teaching, gave me a set of those alphabet strips designed to stretch around a classroom. I held on to them for a few weeks because I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do with them. She suggested cutting them up to make cards, but I already have alphabet cards.
I decided to put them up inside of this closet door in our living room. I can open the door for our lesson, then close them away so the house doesn’t look like a kindergarten classroom.
I get kind of angry black woman over my children seeing people who look like them in the books they read and the tv shows and movies that they watch. I just think there are so many ways mainstream culture can ignore people of color, that I need to do everything I can to provide a counterbalance.
Maybe a year ago, I went to Barnes and Noble looking to get my kids some new books. The store I went to had a pretty big kids’ section, but as exhaustive as it was – I had a difficult time finding books featuring black people. Granted, I was with Cameron and Grace, which meant that I was spending a good amount of time making sure no one fell/died/put anything in their mouths, but I really struggled to find books that represented anything other than the blonde-haired, blue-eyed norm.
Eventually, I got mad and picked up some books staring dinosaurs in protest.
Anyway, we do have some good books starring minorities that I thought I’d share with you. In case you ever happen to be in the same predicament.
Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell – Every member of the family in this story looks like Oprah! It’s true! A Target purchase.
Sing Along Song by JoAnn Early Macken. Got this from a small discount store in Baltimore which has since closed, but I think you can still get ’em from Amazon.
Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee – Cameron and Grace looove this book. See also – realistic depiction of adorable natural hair. Originally ordered this from Amazon in paperback. After Cam did away with that, got a sturdier copy from Target.
If I Was Ten by Pierre Bennu – I am lucky enough to live near natural hair product store Oyin Handmade, which is owned by husband and wife team Pierre and Jamyla Bennu. If you’re not so lucky, but still interested, they’re available for order here.
I’m always looking for good kids’ books, especially those featuring all minorities – know of any others?