So its February. That means Black History Month. I was really contemplating not doing a post. Books with Black characters and by Black authors are a constant content here but I had some links to share. Though first I want to say, I don't think heritage month should still be around. Dr Carter G Woodson came up with the idea to recognize and celebrate the work of many people who would otherwise be forgotten. Heritage months should have been stepping stones to change, to including the contributions of all into everyday lessons.
Two things I like about Black History Month are the T.V. specials be it interviews, documentaries or Black cinema classics like the Five Heartbeats, and commercials with well to do Black people. Though I would give up Black History Month without a second thought if there were more balance in the everyday. But we are not there yet, so Heritage Months will continue.
Over at Papertigers, a great mutlicutural children's blog, they are launching a new project today called The Spirit of PaperTigers Project
Today we are thrilled to be announcing our Spirit of PaperTigers Project, an initiative of Pacific Rim Voices, whose aim is to promote literacy while raising awareness of our common humanity. The idea is to donate 100 book sets of 7 carefully selected multicultural books to libraries and schools in areas of need across the globe.
The central criterion in the mind of the selection panel was to give special recognition to books that, in addition to meeting conventional standards for excellence, will also contribute to PaperTigers’ broader aims of bridging cultures and opening minds, and of promoting greater understanding and empathy among young people from different backgrounds, countries, and ethnicities. Another criterion was that books selected had to be in English, or bilingual publications where one of the two languages is English.
Over at TheBrownBookshelf its time for 28 days later again. Upcoming and well estalished Black authors and illustrators are interviewed thoughout the month. Its a must see.
One author that will be taking part in 28 days later is M. LaVora Perry. The author is also working on another important project.
Forest Hill Publishing is launching a book of stories from transplant survivors and donors of color. We are well aware that people of color represent a disproportionately high number of patients who need organ transplants—and die because they did not receive them—and a disproportionately low number of people who serve as organ and tissue donors.
Our hope is that our book will inspire many more people of color to become donors and save lives.
One blog that I love to check every Tuesday is White Readers Meet Black Authors run by author Carleen Brice. If you want to start reading more books by Black authors and you don't know where to begin, start here.
Brice has two great novels out now Orange Mint and Honey and Children of the Waters . Part of the beauty in both novels comes from the strength in the characters and their relationship. Both novels are in paperback and would make a great book club selection.
Speaking of book club. Brice's Children of the Waters novel will be Color Online's First Book Club Selection on Friday February 5, hosted by Terri.
Orange Mint and Honey has been turn into a lifetime movie called Sins of the Mother starring Jill Scott - It will premiere Sunday February 21, at 8 pm
I plan to use Black History Month as an excuse to sneak in some reviews of adult fiction by Black authors. I may not like the fact that Black History Month is still needed, but I will use it.
Do check out a list of Black children's books It was made in 2008 but it has been updated and I will do so again soon.
Eva- of A Striped Armchair, did a wonderful on so many levels, 2009 wrap up of books read and where they took her around the globe. Its a must see .If everyone travelled half that much there would be no need for Heritage Months.
Thank you for spreading the word on the Spirit of PaperTigers Project - and for all these other wonderful links. I too feel ambiguous about heritage months but, as you say, the fact they're still around means we still need them, and hopefully there will come a time when the celebrations will spill over into the everyday...
Thanks so much, Edi, for posting information about my inclusion in Brown Bookshelf's 28 Days Later initiative. And I especially thank you for mentioning Forest Hill Publishing's organ transplant project. As the word gets out, we hope many people of color who have been affected by organ donation--either as donors or transplant recipients--respond to our call.
Regarding heritage months--the day when we don't need them will truly be a great day in my view. But I'm glad that, unlike it was when I was a child, today's children have more and more opportunities to learn about the world's full array of cultures, histories, and current realities. And today's children have opportunities to learn about these things from people who are from the diverse backgrounds contemporary books represent.
Your blog, the ones you mention in this post, and others that are springing up everyday that promote multicultural awareness, help spread the word about these reading materials.
Great post. It seems we brown women are having mixed feelings about the month. I just posted, too and I had no intention of doing so.
I'm inspired bout Spirit of PaperTigers.
Thanks so much for linking to me, and for saying such nice things. :)
Since I've been reading half POC authors, the whole 'heritage month' thing has seemed more cringe-worthy than it used to. But I think M. LaVora Perry's comment makes a good point too! I hope that, with wonderful bloggers like you around, more and more book bloggers will stop confining their diverse reading to certain months.
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