Faith Ringgold’s Art Frees Absent and Buried Voices #JACBA Newsletter

Special Announcement

April 30th: Video announcement and press release made public
Watch this space for a special announcement regarding the announcement of this year’s Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Winners and Honorees!

Faith Ringgold

Faith Ringgold’s famous ‘story quilts’ come to the Crocker

Artist, activist and author Faith Ringgold works in many media – painting, drawing, prints, sculpture, masks and Tankas (painted fabrics inspired by Tibetan textiles) – but she is best known for her vibrant “story quilts” that deal with family life, jazz music, relationships, race and slavery in America.

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Through this didactic retelling of history, Faith Ringgold uses her quilts to reframe the past, freeing absent and buried voices while offering new and stronger voices to future generations.

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

Five questions for Winifred Conkling

Like it or not, the women’s movement was divided by racism in the nineteenth century. The issue needs to be openly discussed because it happened. It’s also important that young readers learn to appreciate their heroines as flawed and complex human beings.

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Sylvia & Aki by Winifred Conkling 2012 Awardee

Picture Books to Help Kids Weather Our Age of Anxiety

New York Times Article by Linda Sue Parks

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A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park 2011 Awardee

When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park 2003 Awardee

The Book That Helps Me Survive In A Racist World

Virginia Hamilton and illustrators retold The People Could Fly in a collection of black vernacular stories published in 1985, and when my mother read those stories to me as a child, the words burrowed deep.

The best children’s books make the most vulnerable among us feel proud. Strong. It’s a forever gift, like a parent’s unconditional love. Yes, Hamilton sets out to portray the realities of slavery, but in doing so, she carefully guards the humanity of her audience.

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Anthony Burns: The Defeat and Triumph of a Fugitive Slave by Virginia Hamilton 1989 Awardee

Naomi Shihab Nye

Painting poetry portraits of influential people

Themes of “Voices in the Air” include the act of listening, political and civil unrest, cultural differences and the wonder in everyday living – themes Nye has addressed throughout her work.

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Poets Nye, Sotelo and Tartt to headline April 15 fundraiser for Laura Riding Jackson Foundation

Nye, a self-described “wandering poet,” has traveled the world, leading writing workshops and inspiring students of all ages for 40 years. Born to a Palestinian father and American mother of German and Swiss descent, Nye spent her adolescence in Jerusalem and San Antonio, Texas.

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Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye 1998 Awardee

Sitti’s Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter 1995 Awardee

American Students Have Simple Demands

On May 2, 1963, thousands of students walked out of their schools in Birmingham, Alabama, to protest the racially segregated society in which they were meant to live. By the end of the day, over 1,000 of them were in jail. More of them walked out the next day. Some of them were blown down the concrete sidewalk with fire hoses, blown like trash into the gutters of the city. One of them was a nine-year-old named Audrey Faye Hendricks. In Cynthia Levinson’s excellent account of those days, there is a conversation that Audrey Faye Hendricks had with her mother:

But, before she could be free, there was something important she had to do. “I want to go to jail,” Audrey had told her mother.

So, when tens of thousands of schoolchildren walked out of class all over America on Wednesday, they weren’t merely acting in a brave and proud tradition.

Depending on how rigid their principals and school boards are, they also were taking a considerable chance.

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We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Levinson 2013 Awardee

How former Michigan autoworker Christopher Paul Curtis became a beloved chronicler of Canadian History

In January, Scholastic published the third book in what it is calling Curtis’s Buxton Chronicles, The Journey of Little Charlie.

When we first meet Charlie in 1858, he’s a product of his environment, who has never had a reason to question the ways of the South. Things change once he makes his first journey away from home, accompanying a local plantation overseer north to retrieve a family of runaway slaves. Witnessing the ignorance and vileness of his travelling companion – a self proclaimed “slave catcher” – and faced with the task of shackling the former slaves in the streets of Detroit, Charlie’s conscience is awakened and he becomes a character today’s readers can get behind.

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Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis 2008 Awardee

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

Underground Railroad Heritage Center

Storytelling will be enhanced by engaging digital media, graphics and other programming, as well as animated watercolors from award-winning illustrator E.B. Lewis and voice-over work by Emmy Award-winning actor Keith David.

“Our goal is to help visitors recognize that some modern injustices have direct roots in slavery, while other contemporary struggles parallel those of nineteenth century freedom seekers,”

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First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial, written by Susan E. Goodman, illustrated by E. B. Lewis, 2017 Awardee

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

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

Students learn life lessons from Battle of the Books

“Wolf Hollow” by Lauren Wolk, set in a rural Pennsylvania community during World War II, was mentioned more than once as a favored book this year. “It taught me that when things are hard to do, what’s good is to do the right thing,” said Waynesville Middle’s Mariel Ottinger. Her teammate Scarlett Strickland added that it taught her about “how to deal with bullies and be responsible.”

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Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk 2017 Awardee

Don’t burn the opportunity to participate in, support Big Read

Joseph Bruchac, renowned writer of Native American heritage and traditions, will be present to lead families along the trail and give out free copies of his book “How the Chipmunk Got Its Stripes.”

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The Heart of a Chief by Joseph Bruchac 1999 Awardee

The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award annually recognizes children’s books of literary and aesthetic excellence that effectively engage children in thinking about peace, social justice, global community, and equity for all people.

Read more about the 2017 Awards.

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