Books That Aid Conversation About White Privilege and Entitlement JACBA Newsletter 5Aug2016

CCBC Drilling Down on Diversity in Picture Books

Metadata on Picture Books Project

“For 2016 we are launching a pilot project to do a more in-depth analysis of the year’s picture books (excluding non-fiction titles, such as picture-book biographies). We’re keeping track of the things people want to know. Just how many picture books have animal, rather than human, characters? How many books about African American characters are historical? How many feature LGBTQ families? Or Muslims? Or people with disabilities? How many are by first-time authors or illustrators? We’ll be able to tell you in early 2017.”

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10 Children’s Books That Help White Kids Understand What Children Of Color Are Up Against

Patricia Polacco’s ‘Pink and Say’ is an exceptional story based around the Civil War that details a story of a black family who put their life in danger to care for a young white boy who was wounded. Great for taking a small look into racism, Polacco’s book will help your children see just how dangerous it was to be caring as a person of color.

Jacqueline Woodson’s ‘The Other Side’ is a story of a friendship not held by the restraints of color and displays a very realistic lesson on how racism is taught to the youth.

Another true story surrounded around segregation, Margot Theis Raven’s civil rights story ‘Let Them Play’ teaches children about equality and displays how ignorance and bigotry can cost you what you desire most.

‘The Watson’s Go to Birmingham – 1963’ [by Christopher Paul Curtis] gives a look into the horrific and historical burning of the Sixteenth Avenue Baptist Church with four little girls inside through the eyes of a young boy.

Calvin Alexander Ramsey’s book ‘Ruth and the Green Book’ unveils the unfortunate treatment of blacks through the eyes of young Ruth who travels with her family from Chicago to Alabama using the help of The Green Book.

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Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco 1993 Awardee

Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis 2013 Awardee

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson 1996 Awardee

I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson 1995 Awardee

Night Boat to Freedom, written by Margot Theis Raven with pictures by E. B. Lewis 2007 Awardee

The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis 1996 Awardee

Belle, the Last Mule at Gee’s Bend written by Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Bettye Stroud, illustrated by John Holyfield 2012 Awardee

Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey with Gwen Strauss and illustrated by Floyd Cooper 2011 Awardee


New program uses chalk to recreate works of Latino artists at Waukegan Municipal Beach

Chalk drawings of Mexican-American artist Duncan Tonatiuh’s work adorn a pier at Waukegan Municipal Beach.

The drawings – of food, people and pyramids – were made just minutes before by a group who gather at the pier on Fridays to recreate artwork by famous Latino artists.

Host Julie Contreras said the Chalk It Out Waukegan program gathers at the beach to learn about Hispanic artists. Children and adults sit in a circle on the pier while Contreras leads bilingual discussions about an artist and their contributions. After the discussion, the group creates artwork based on the work of the artist.

Tonatiuh was the only living artist discussed this summer. Others included Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and Spanish-born artist Pablo Picasso.

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Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and her family’s fight for desegregation, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh 2015 Awardee


Jacqueline Woodson: When a Southern Town Broke a Heart

The fleeting moments of childhood are etched deep in my memory – the salty indentations of baby teeth newly gone, the tug of hairbrushes through knotted hair, the heat and smell of the straightening comb, my mother’s broad shoulders and easy smile – and a summer in South Carolina, when the deep green beauty revealed my place and time in history and laid claim to that moment all children know, when the tendrils of adulthood move toward us, showing themselves long before we are ready to see.

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Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis 2013 Awardee

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson 1996 Awardee

I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson 1995 Awardee


Naomi Shihab Nye: Your Life Is a Poem

Growing up, the poet Naomi Shihab Nye lived in Ferguson, Missouri and on the road between Ramallah and Jerusalem. Her father was a refugee Palestinian journalist, and through her poetry, she carries forward his hopeful passion, his insistence, that language must be a way out of cycles of animosity.

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Naomi Shihab Nye: Beauty & Empathy

Rooted in her experience as a Palestinian American, Nye addresses international politics, immigration, identity, and other issues with a poet’s particular ability to connect. HPR’s Noe Tanigawa interviewed her at Shangri-La, where Nye is currently Artist in Residence.

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Habibi written by Naomi Shihab Nye 1998 Awardee


Two Responses to Faith Ringgold’s New Exhibit at MOMA

How Do Black Lives Matter in MoMA’s Collection?

While the artist worried that Die would be a prophesy of her times, the work has proven to anticipate a far longer arc.

Let’s be clear about how Ringgold’s work resonates today: Just as the painting indicts all of the suit-and-dress-wearing, white-collar workers in her picture, we must implicate the professional institutions in which we find ourselves as part of a broader anti-black culture.

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From the Archives: Faith Ringgold, the Art Workers Coalition, and the Fight for Inclusion at The Museum of Modern Art

After seeing Faith Ringgold’s monumental, harrowing painting, American People Series #20: Die (1967), I was inspired to reflect upon this new acquisition. For while the painting has only recently arrived at the Museum, the artist was actively engaging with the institution on issues of race and exclusion during the same period of its making, the late 1960s.

It was a time when artists agitated for change, for more control and inclusion in cultural institutions, as well as addressing related social and political issues.

One such group was the Art Workers Coalition (AWC), in which Ringgold was active, and she, along with Tom Lloyd, co-led a black coalition within the group of artists, architects, filmmakers, critics, and museum and gallery personnel.

Even if the shortcomings of our past do not exemplify our aspirations or expectations, it is important to understand and narrate that past to help us shape a future of progress, inclusion, and hope.

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Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold 1993 Awardee

Since 1953, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award annually acknowledges books published in the U.S. during the previous year. Books commended by the Award address themes of topics that engage children in thinking about peace, justice, world community and/or equality of the sexes and all races. The books also must meet conventional standards of literacy and artistic excellence.


A national committee chooses winners and honor books for younger and older children.

Click here to read more about the 2016 Awards.

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