Black Joy! Books that empower children with love of self, strength, and ingenuity

Black children are beauty, intelligence, ingenuity, resilience, and spontaneous joy, peace, power, and so much more. So in that spirit, I offer the following books that are devoted to true and positive identities of black children and adults. I offer books that are in some ways Afro-futuristic, embodying parallel and fiercely optimistic tales of who we are, who we want to be, where we’ve been, where we’re going, and how we plan to get there, against the backdrop of racism, oppression, rising, uprising, and rising again. These are tales of how we and others have found ways to stay lifted and to lift up others even in the deepest, darkest, and even hopeful times like… now. Enjoy!
Kara Finds Sunshine on a Rainy Day is a picture book about hope, healing, and discovering heroes around us and within, as experienced by 9-year-old Kara, whose plans for a fun-filled day get disrupted when it rains cats and dogs. Her mom responds by sharing rhyming stories about historical figures and ordinary people, of a wide variety of races and backgrounds from across the globe (including Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez and Andre Trocme) who found or made “sunshine” in difficult times. This special edition, illustrated by children from the Harlem School of the Arts, was written to support children and families who survived the devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005. A child psychiatrist has called Kara Finds Sunshine “a voyage to resiliency.” A cultural historian suggests it’s a powerful education in the “habit of love.” (This book includes an extensive parent and teacher guide and comes with FREE downloads.)
Barack Obama: A Hip Hop Tale of King’s Dream Come True is a picture book is a humorous, satirized and fictionalized account of the presidential campaign of Barack Obama. Its swift-moving rhymes, rhythm and drama entertain while educating children about one of the most important events in world history and the social movement that made it possible. The brightly-illustrated 32-page book ultimately reveals President Obama’s powerful connection to the enduring legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement he so honorably and courageously led. (This book includes an extensive parent and teacher guide and comes with  FREE downloads.)
Darius Daniels: Game On!  – An anti-racist verse novel about identity, black boy joy, family, community, disabilities, moral questions, told movingly through more than 10 forms of poetry.Darius Daniels: Game On! is a middle-grade rhythmic novel about an 11-year-old boy, a video game, and a great and scary adventure the boy cannot escape – until he hurts somebody. was his name, you see, and he was on the Edge. Family and friends on one side, Getting together at his home. Him on the other, sometimes feeling alone, In a game world that made his head swirl. Jammed up his brain and rained Karate chops and knocked him for a Loop. He didn’t see it coming that Morning. Should have been a warning, but No. Oops. (This book comes with FREE downloads and opportunities and numerous Language Arts learning standards applications.)
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