Our children are gorgeously diverse and they love a good read. At the heart of Real Kids/ Good Books are authors and illustrators who are building a new diverse canon, book by dazzling book.
Themes include: children of color, LGBTQ, adoption, special needs, math, science and writing. And of course there is also a mishmash of miscellany and reblogged tidbits that strike my fancy as they float by.
Thanks for stopping by.
"In the days since 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed in broad daylight by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri – amid the flurry of media coverage, the teargas and the wooden bullets, the shameless character shaming of Brown, and the gut-sick heartbreak of his family – all I keep thinking is: Make it stop, white people. You are the ones who created this godforsaken racist system by using your circumstantial power and privilege 400 years ago to institutionalize white supremacy. Now use that power and privilege you still have, 400 years later, to dismantle it. And please don’t quibble about whether you have any direct lineage to the architects of racism. You are benefitting from it, so you have a direct responsibility to figure out how to undo it. Because maybe you’ve seen what happens when we black people try to undo it in 2014 – they call in the National Guard."
"What America needs is for people to shed the expectation of translation and immerse themselves in other worlds. It’s O.K. if you can’t pronounce ma po tofu, it’s O.K. if you can’t pronounce my last name and it’s O.K. if you learn about our ways through graphic novels. America has to start somewhere, and I’d recommend “The Shadow Hero.” Soon enough, it’ll all be familiar."
"We are striving for a world where we deal with harm in our communities through healing, love, and kinship. This means an end to state sponsored violence, including the excessive use of force by law enforcement. We are committed to an America that comes to terms with the trauma of its painful history and finds true reconciliation for it. Mass incarceration and the over criminalization of black and brown people must forever end, leaving in its place a culture that embraces our histories and stories. This means an end to racial bias and white supremacy in all its forms. Our dreams are directly linked with those resisting militarism, war, and state repression around the world. We will achieve this new beloved community hand in hand, step by step, in global solidarity with all people committed to lasting peace and full justice."
"When you give people at the margins the opportunity and platform to tell their own stories, what is reflected will look like intentional pushback against mainstream narratives. Our stories only seem revolutionary because they so often go untold."
"In the epigraph to Drown, Junot Diaz uses a quote from a Cuban poet, Gustavo Pérez Firmat—“The fact that I am writing to you in English already falsifies what I wanted to tell you.” This is the dilemma of the immigrant writer. If I’d lived in Haiti my whole life, I’d be writing these things in Creole. But these stories I am writing now are coming through me as a person who, though I travel to Haiti often, has lived in the U.S. for more than three decades now.
Often when you’re an immigrant writing in English, people think it’s primarily a commercial choice. But for many of us, it’s a choice that rises out of the circumstances of our lives. These are the tools I have at my disposal, based on my experiences. It’s a constant debate, not just in my community but in other communities as well. Where do you belong? You’re kind of one of us, but you now write in a different language. You’re told you don’t belong to American literature or you’re told you don’t belong to Haitian literature. Maybe there’s a place on the hyphen, as Julia Alvarez so brilliantly wrote in one of her essays. That middle generation, the people whose parents brought them to other countries as small children, or even people who were born to immigrant parents, maybe they can have their own literature too."