When Brittay Smith, a pre-k teacher in New Jersey, witnessed the protests around the country after the killing of George Floyd, she knew she had to do something to make a statement. She decided to use her knowledge for good and posted a list of children's books that spoke about race and racism on Twitter in the hopes listeners would include various types of books in more classrooms.
Teacher in me had to do this.. CHILDREN’S BOOKS THAT DISCUSS RACE & RACISM THREAD:— Brittany (@Brittany)1591058616.0
"We want to raise a conscientious generation, and to do that, we need to be mindful of what we're teaching them as children," Smith explained to Time. The teacher also plans to add more books to the list over time and eventually publish her own children's book.
Here are a few children's books that will help you teach children about race and racism in America:
1. ‘Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History’
An easy-to-digest book that highlights black women who changed the world.
2. ‘Rosa Parks (Little People, Big Dreams)’
A part of the Little People, BIG DREAMS series, this board book highlights the life of Rosa Parks, who in 1955 refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus.
3. ‘Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation’
A story of how Sylvia Mendez and her family helped end school segregation in California long before Brown vs. Board of Education.
4. ‘I am Martin Luther King, Jr. (Ordinary People Change the World)’
Martin Luther King Jr. was an African American activist who became the cornerstone of the civil rights movement. Learn how he shaped the world until his assassination in 1968.
5. ‘Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters’
From Rosa Parks to Harriet Tubman and Shirley Chisholm, readers will dive into the world of Black freedom fighters who stood up to racial injustice.
6. ‘The Story Of Ruby Bridges: Special Anniversary Edition’
Young minds will enjoy the courageous story of American civil rights activist, Ruby Bridges who was the first African American child to integrate into an all-white public elementary school in Louisiana.
7. ‘The Name Jar’
Unhei learns that being the new kid in school (with a unique name) is very tough. But, she learns to embrace her differences and discover the courage within herself.
8. ‘Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker’
Little ones will learn about the vibrant and vocal performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker.
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