With everything going on in the world I wanted to find a way to connect with the boys and teach them BLACK history as well as to help them understand the beauty in their skin. Reading has always been a fun escape for me I get lost in reading. I randomly said you know what I’m going to create an age appropriate Black Reading corner for the boys.
What do I mean by black? I mean black characters, authors and illustrators. Why? Well I could only compare my child hood to how the boys are being raised currently. I grew up knowing I was black but I was insecure about my skin about my hair everything about me. Although I was being raised by beautiful strong black woman and men I would go into other spaces or simply watch to much Disney where majority of the characters didn’t look like me or come from similar backgrounds.
I was in shock to find so many good books on amazon. I ordered the books right away and purchased the acrylic floating shelves from amazon. I preferred the shelves because Mahir is 2 and I was sure if I purchased a book shelf he would climb it. The books ranged from $3.99-$16.99. I added in a chair we had around the house from Ikea and boom it was complete.
I wanted to be sure that my children would not only actively read but read to understand. Words mean nothing if you aren’t taking your time to imagine the vision of what your reading. Reading became more personal after attending an HBCU. During undergrad I learned myself and began to appreciate and own what being black truly is.
Excuse me for the language but you won’t feel me unless I slide this tea in. One of my favorite poems “Fuck I look like” by Kai Davis she says “White people told us niggas not to read 300 years ago, and now niggas telling other niggas not to read, what are we afraid of”. When I listened to those words back in 2012 it spoke to me not only do I enjoy reading but my ancestors where purposely told not to read in fear of what WE could become. This is not to make everything racial or political but to inform others.
I’m teaching my boys daily that reading is cool and that the mind should never stop expanding and growing. This is not to knock others culture rather your Irish, Latino or in between giving our children diverse books or books they can relate to sets them up for a future of being confident in who they are and where they come from.
My favorites so far are “Woke Baby” by Mahogany Browne. This read is perfect for children 3 and under. My favorite for ages 5 and up would be “I am Positive affirmations for brown boys” by Ayesha Rodriguez. This book was essential with the current state in America with black lives matter and police brutality. I wanted my son to know he is valuable, loved and a King. What are you guys reading lately?