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BlackJestic Kmty Registered

"Readers are leaders and leaders are readers"
What your child has read and has been exposed to is a great indicator of what they will become

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Children’s Booklist©

Part 1

To purchase the following books please contact Everyone’s Place in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comBaltimore at (410) 728-0877 or (410) 728-4080

Estimated price

1. Harriet Tubman the Antislavery activist by M.W Taylor $12.00
2. Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott $ 6.95
3. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in Peoples Ears by Verna Aarderma $ 9.00
4. Why the Sky is Far Away by Mary Joan Gerson $5.95
5.The New King by Doreen Rappaport $ 9.00
6. Where are you going Manyoni by Catherine Stock $ 12.00
7. Shaka Zulu by Diane Stanley $ 4.95
8. Keates’s Neighborhood by Ezra Jacks Keats $ 25.00
9. Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe $8.00
10. Ashanti to Zulu by Margaret Musgrove $6.99
11. Famous Black Americans by A Frank Schaffer $12.99
12. Is it Far to Zanzibar $ 9.00
13. Minty by Alan Schroeder $8.95
14.Sometimes My Mommy Get Angry by Bebe Moore Cambell $12.99
15. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen $ 5.99
16. Imani’s Gift at Kwanzaa by Denise Burden-Patman $ 7.99
17. Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson $ 8.99
18. Malcolm X by Jack Rummel $ 10.99
19. Black Fairy Tales by Terry Berger $ 12.99
20. Toning the Sweep by Angela Johnson $ 6.99
21. Stone Fox by John Gardiner $ 2.95
22. Julie of the Wolves by Jean George $ 2.95
23. The Quilt by Ann Jonas $4.99
24. Singer of History by Lucy Terry Prince $ 2.95
25. Langston Hughes First Book of Jazz $12.00
26. Grandmother’s Song by Barbara Soros $6.95
27. The Son of the Sun and the Daughter of the Moon $ 12.95
28. Talkin’ Bout Bessie by Nikki Grimes $3.99
29. Favorite African Folktales by Nelson Mandela $13.95
30. My Brother Martin by King Farris $12.95
31. When Marian Sang by Ryan Selznick $ 8.95
32. Freedom Summer by Wiles Lagarrigue $ 8.95
33. The Legend of Africania by Dorothy W. Robinson * One of the best books ever $15.00
34. Mansa Musa: the Lion King of Mali
35. Wings by Christopher Myers
36. Beris Trumpet
37. The Girl Who Spun Gold
38. My Island in the Sun
39. A Treasure Within by Chike Akua *Another Amazing Book $20.00
40. Shades of Memnon Part 1-3 by Brother G $ 20.00
41. Reading Revolution by Chike Akua $20.00
42. Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley $ 9.00
43. Stokely Carmicheal by Jacqueline Johnson $8.00
44. Gifted Hands by Ben Carson

Children’s Booklist©

Part 2

To purchase the following books please contact Everyone’s Place in Baltimore at (410) 728-0877 or (410) 728-4080

Estimated price
1. Golden Legacy: Illustrated History Series by $44.95
2. A Kwanza Celebration Pop Up Book by Nancy Williams $11.95
3. Black Fairy Tales by David Omar White
4. Old Turtle and the Broken Truth
5. Our People by Angela Shelf Medearis
6. Coconut Kind of Day by Lynn Joseph $4.99
7. Children of Africa a Coloring Book
8. Obara the Gatekeeper by Micheal Bodden $14.95
9. Think Again by Doug E. Fresh
10. Zomo The Rabbit by Gerald McDermott
11. Jambo means Hello by Tom Feelings
12. Senefer: A Young genius in Old Egypt $16.95
13. Mr. Lincoln’s Way by Patricia Polacco
14. Uncle Jed’s Barbershop by Margaree King Mitchell
15. Welcoming Babies by Margy Burns Knight
16. Can You Dance Dalila
17. Pass It On by Wade Hudson
18. Nettie Jo’s Friends by Patricia McKissack $6.99
19. Dear Benjamin Banneker by Sndrea Davis Pinkey $6.00
20. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin
21. Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco
22. Fishing Day by Andrea Davis Pinkey
23. Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King by Jean Marzollo
24. Dragonfly’s Tale
25. Martin Luther King, JR: A Picture Story by Margaret Boone-Jones
26. The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy
27. The Colors of Us by Karen Katz $6.95
28. Masai and I by Virginia Kroll
29. Frederick Douglass The Last Day of Slavery by William Miller
30. Something on My Mind by Nikki Grimes $3.95
31. Straw Sense by Rona Rupert
32. Captain Bill Pinkey’s Journey
33. My Painted House by Maya Angelou
34. Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
35. Home Place by Crescent Dragonwagon
36. Galimoto by Karen Lynn Williams $4.95
37. Kevin and His Dad by Irene Smalls
38. Everett Anderson’s Goodbye by Lucille Clifton
39. Jafta by Hugh Lewin
40. My Brother Martin by Christine King Farris $3.99
41. Martin Luther King by Ellen Levine
42. More stories Julian Tells
43. Island Baby by Holly Keller $4.95
44. Rosa Parks by Garnet Nelson Jackson
45. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, by Alex Castro
46. Famous African Americans: An Educational Coloring Book
47. Monkey Sunday by Sanna Stanley
48. Caribbean Dream by Rachel Isadora
49. Dinner at Aunt Connie’s House by Faith Ringgold $16.95
50. See Inside Ancient Egypt
51. Me and Uncle Rome by Claire Hartfeild
52. Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringold
53. Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson
54. Tar Beach by Ringgold $4.99
55. Cendrillon by Robert D. San Souci $6.99
56. Irene and the Big, Fine Nickel by Irene Smalls-Hector
57. Children from Australia to Zimbabwe
58. ABC of African American Poetry
59. Little Louis and the Jazz Band by Angela Shelf Medearis
60. Faraway Drums by Virginia Kroll
61. Jonathan and His Mommy by Irene Smalls
62. When I am Old with You by Angela Johnson $4.95
63. Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus $4.95
64. The National Civil Rights Museum by Alice Faye Duncan
65. Once a Mouse… By Marcia Brown $3.95
66. Nappy Hair by Carolivia Herron
67. Matthew Henson by Micheal Gilman
68. Treemonisha by Micheal Bryant
69. The Boy and the Ghost by Robert San Souci
70. The People Who Could Fly

Topic starter Posted : 13/08/2008 5:50 pm
BlackJestic Kmty Registered

Thank You for this booklist! My Daughter loves books and I enjoy reading them too:)

Posted : 28/10/2008 3:01 pm
New Kmty Registered

Asante sana kwa book list narudi kwa everyone's please almost kila siku napenda everyone's place.


Posted : 03/02/2009 1:18 pm
Most BlackNificent Kmty! Admin


    ', '', '
    [*]Sankofa SuperHerus: Volume 1
    by Angela Freeman and The Irritated Genie of Soufeese

    The Conscious Book of ABC's: A Book to Free Young Black Minds
    by Angela Freeman

    Kefentse's Private Parts
    by Angela Freeman

    Bomani's Stand
    by Angela Freeman

    Nilajah's Dolls (Black Books for Black Children)
    by Angela Freeman

    Omowale & The Butterfly
    by Angela Freeman

    Sankofa SuperHerus
    by Angela Freeman and Kalyd Dessalines

    Abibifahodie!: Meekamui (Volume 1)
    by Angela Freeman

    Colors of Afrika (Black Books for Black Children)
    by Angela Freeman

    God's Gift: How to Be a Good Black Woman to a Strong Black Man
    by Angela Freeman and The Irritated Genie of Soufeese

    Lessons for the Asafo: Wisdom for Warriors-In-Training
    by Angela Freeman

    A Warrior's Lunch: Message to the Black Family Vol. 1 (Volume 1)
    by Angela Freeman



The Rise and Fall of Hat-Hop Music
by Angela Freeman

Nilajah's Sweet Treats
by Angela Freeman

Insurrection!: An Atrocity For An Atrocity
by Angela Freeman

Solitude's Revenge
by Angela Freeman and Yaa Baruti

Hands Off!: How To Protect Our Children From Predators
by Angela Freeman

Lessons For The Watoto Book 1: Proverbs For Afrikan Children
by Angela Freeman and Ka'Ba Akintunde

Montsho's Magic Night: An Afrikan AkomaTale (AkomaTales) (Volume 1)
by Angela Freeman

Lessons For The Watoto Book 3: Wisdom For Afrikan Children
by Angela Freeman and Adenike Sincere

Lessons For The Watoto Book 2: Wisdom For Afrikan Children (Volume 3)
by Angela Freeman and Kefentse Akim Bandele

Conscious Entertaining: The Return of the Domestic Goddess
by Angela Freeman and Mapinduzi Mwandishi

Posted : 04/08/2016 5:38 am
Most BlackNificent Kmty! Admin

Suggested African-Centered Reading List
*courtesy of Akoben House (Asafo excerpt) & Roots to Fruits Children's Collection
Heiroglyphics for Babies by Ayi Kwei Armah & A.K. Lam

Shadow Dance by Donna Perrone & Tololwa M. Mollel

Koi & the Kola Nuts by Verna Aardema

Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs Series by Sharon M. Draper (beginner chapter books)

E is for Ethiopia by Ashenafi Gudeta, Betelhem Abate, Ataklti Mulu, Dama Boru

Afro-Bets First Book About Africa by Veronica Ellis

The Story of Africa and Her Flags to Color by Michael Faul

Jambo Means Hello by Muriel Feelings

Moja Means One by Muriel Feelings

Sankofa Kemet by Jahbari Joseph Akua

The Treasure Within by Chike Akua (beginner chapter book)

A Story, A Story by Gale E. Haley

The Hatseller and the Monkeys by Baba Wague Diakite

The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton

Africa is Not a Country, It's a Continent by Arthur Lewin

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe

The Black Snowman by Phil Mendez

Habari Gani? What's the News? by Sundaira Morninghouse

The Shimmershine Queens by Camille Yarbrough (beginner chapter book)

Tamika and the Wisdom Rings by Camille Yarbrough (beginner chapter book)

Cornrows by Camille Yarbrough

Ashanti to Zulu by Margaret Musgrove

Are Trees God's Hands? by Cynette Applewhite

Children of the Skies by Cynette Applewhite

Lest We Forget by Velma Thomas

Working Cotton by Sherley Anne

Encounter by Jane Yolen

The Origins of Life on Earth
by David Anderson

A is for Africa by Ifeoma Onyefulu

A Triangle for Adaora by Ifeoma Onyefulu

One Big Family by Ifeoma Onyefulu

Little Lion Goes to School by Kellie Magnus & Michael Robinson

Journey to Jo'burg by Beverley Naidoo
(beginner chapter book)

*We have made a conscious effort to screen each book. However, we encourage you to use your own discernment as to what you deem appropriate for your own children.
Asante Sana!

Young Warrior and Adult Reading Lists to Follow in near Future!

Posted : 04/08/2016 6:49 am
Most BlackNificent Kmty! Admin
Young Warriors from Birth to 12:

All books by Akua Agusi:
“The Successes of Marcus Garvey” by Akua Agusi
“Queen Nzingha (The Peoples Queen)” by Akua Agusi
All books by Angela Freeman:
“Bomani’s Stand” by Angela Freeman
“Sankofa SuperHerus: Volume 1” by Angela Freeman
“Insurrection!: An Atrocity for An Atrocity” by Angela Freeman
“Koi and The Kola Nuts” by Verna Aardema
“Afro-Bets First Book About Africa” by Veronica Ellis
“The Story of Africa and Her Flags to Color” by Michael Faul
“Jambo Means Hello” by Muriel Feelings
“Moja Means One” by Muriel Feelings
“A Story, A Story” by Gale E. Haley
“Africa is Not a Country, It’s a Continent” by Arthur Lewin
“Habari Gani? What’s the News?” by Sundaira Morninghouse
“Ashanti to Zulu” by Margaret Musgrove
“Lest We Forget” by Velma Thomas
“Encounter” by Jane Yolen
“You Can Do It!” by Tony Dungy
“Please, Baby, Please” by Spike Lee
“Nappy Hair” by Carolivia Herron
“Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters” by John Steptoe
“Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales” by Virginia Hamilton
“Amazing Grace” by Mary Hoffman
“Chocolate Me!” by Taye Diggs
“Dancing in the Wings” by Debbie Allen
“Precious and the Boo Hag” by Patricia C. McKissack and Onawumi Jean Moss
“My Brother Charlie” by Holly Robinson Peete
“The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales” by Virginia Hamilton
“Something Beautiful” by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
“Through My Eyes” by Ruby Bridges
“Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad” by Ellen Levine
“Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom” (Caldecott Honor Book) by Carole Boston Weatherford
“I Love My Hair!” by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
“Big Hair, Don’t Care” by Crystal Swain-Bates
“I’m a Pretty Little Black Girl!” (I’m a Girl! Collection) by Betty K. Bynum
“In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers” by Javaka Steptoe
“Jamaica’s Find” (Reading Rainbow) by Juanita Havill
“Tar Beach” by Faith Ringgold
“Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Doreen Rappaport
“Who Was Harriet Tubman?” by Yona Zeldis McDonough
“Who Was Louis Armstrong?” by Yona Zeldis McDonough
“Who Was King Tut?” by Roberta Edwards
“Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X” by Ilyasah Shabazz
“What Color Is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors” by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
“A Man Called Garvey: The Life and Times of the Great Leader Marcus Garvey” by Paloma Mohamed
“STAT: Standing Tall and Talented #1: Home Court” by Amar’e Stoudemire

Young Warriors 12 and Up:
“Monster” by Walter Dean Myers
“Slam” by Walter Dean Myers
Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur
Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization by Anthony Browder
Lessons of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
Mis-education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson
Black Economics by Jawanzaa Kunjufu
Know Thy Self by Naim Akbar
Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery by Naim Akbar
Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley
From the Browder Files by Anthony Browder
The Black Holocaust for Beginners by S.E Anderson
Chains (The Seeds of America Trilogy) by Laurie Halse Anderson
Amos Fortune, Free Man (Newbery Library, Puffin) by Elizabeth Yates
Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary by Walter Dean Myers
From Niggas to Gods, Part One by Akil
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
A Lesson Before Dying and A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest Gaines
The Spook Who Sat by the Door by Sam Greenlee
Harriet Tubman by Ann Petry
The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah
The Destruction of Black Civilization by Chancellor Williams
Two Thousand Seasons by Ayi Kwei Armah

Posted : 04/08/2016 7:40 am
Most BlackNificent Kmty! Admin

Books for Younger Readers:

Nappy Hair, by Carolivia Herron
Recommended Ages: 4-8
The gospel rhythm of this lovely children's book is matched only by the bold, color-saturated illustrations of little nappy-haired Brenda.

Cassie's Colorful Day, by Faith Ringgold
Recommended Ages: 0-4
Join Cassie on a colorful day with her dad. Young children will follow Cassie as she dresses up in her yellow-and-red polka dot dress, purple shoes, and green pocketbook, then heads to the ice cream parlor for her favorite treat--a pink strawberry sundae!

Counting to Tar Beach, by Faith Ringgold
Recommended Ages: 0-4
Your kids will count from 1 to 10 all the good things that Cassie and her family take to the rooftop for their mouth-watering picnic.

Something Beautiful, by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
Recommended Ages: 5-8
This is the inspiring story of a young girl's search for beauty in her violence-torn neighborhood. The illustrations and story are both beautiful and realistic.

Books for Older Readers:

Kidnapped Prince; The Life of Olaudah Equiano, by Olaudah Equiano
Recommended Ages: 10-13
This is a gripping tale of a young African boy's odyssey of betrayal, cruelty, and courage.

Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963, by Paul Curtis
Recommended Ages: 10 and up
The Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan are taking a trip like no other. They're heading south to Birmingham, Alabama, toward one of the worst moments in American history.

Night John, by Gary Paulsen
Recommended Ages: 12 and up
After he escaped to freedom in the north, Nightjohn returns to slavery to teach other enslaved people how to read. And 12-year-old Sarny is willing to risk mutilation and death for precious knowledge.

Dark Thirty; Southern Tales of the Supernatural, by Patricia C. McKissack
Recommended Ages: 10-13
These 10 stories of the supernatural are based on historical facts but be warned: they're scary! These haunting tales are perfect for reading aloud and they also address deep issues of racism.

Warrior Children Reading List

Verna Aardema, Koi & The Kola Nuts
Veronica Ellis, Afro-Bets First Book About Africa
Michael Faul, The Story of Africa and Her Flags to Color
Muriel Feelings, Jambo Means Hello and Moja Means One
Virginia Hamilton, The People Could Fly
Arthur Lewin, Africa is Not a Country, It's a Continent
Sundaria Morninghouse, Harbari Gani? What's the News?
Sherley Anne Williams, Working Cotton
Jane Yolen, Encounter

Warrior Youth Reading List

Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
S.E.Anderson, The Black Holocaust for Beginners
Na'im Akbar, Chains and Images of Psychological Slavery and VISIONS[/red] for BLACK MEN
Akil, From Niggas to Gods, Part One
Chike Akua, A Treasure Within
Molefi Kete Asante, Classical Africa
Ayi Kwei Armah, Two Thousand Seasons
Mwalimu Baruti, The Sex Imperative
Anthony Browder, From the Browder Files
Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower
James Cameron, A Time of Terror
John Henrik Clarke, Africans at the Crossroads
Gaidi Faraj, Ourstory: Afrikans from Antiquity to the 21st Century
Sam Greenlee,The Spook Who Sat by the Door
Asa G. Hilliard, Larry Williams and Nia Damali (eds), The Teachings of Ptahhote
Jacqueline Johnson, Stokely Carmichael
Indus Khamit-Kush, What They Never Told You in History Class
Zak A. Kondo, The Black Student's Guide to Positive Education and His-storical Lies and Myths that Miseducate Black People
Joseph Marshall, Street Soldier
Patricia & Frederick McKissach, Rebels Against Slavery
Erriel D. Roberson, The Maafa & Beyond
J.A.Rogers, Great Men of Color, Vols. I & II
Sister Souljah, The Coldest Winter Ever
Carter G. Woodson, The Miseducation of the Negro
Amos N. Wilson, The Falsification of Afrikan Consciousness
Bobby E. Wright, The Psychopathic Racial Personality
Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Title Author
Afro-Bets - 123 C. Hudson
Afro-Bets - ABC C. Hudson
Afro-Bets - Shapes M.W.Brown
Afro-Bets - Colors M.W.Brown
Afro-Bets - Color & Activity D. Ferguson

Title Author
Afro-Tots - Letters ABC O.Gift
Afro-Tots - Numbers 123 O.Gift

Rookie Readers has a whole series of books for younger children.
I only bought and collected a few of these books over the years
Note Rookie Reader is the listed author for this series as well
Ages 3-8

ROOKIE READERS**********************************
Title Author
A Buzz is part of A Bee Carolyn Lunn, Tom Dunnington (Illustrator)
Bears, Bears, Everywhere Rita Milios, Keiko Motoyama (Illustrator)
Animal babies in Rain Forests Houghton Mifflin Editorial

******************************************** **
These are some of the traditional fairy tales, but with an Afrocentric flavor.
There are at least 15 books in this series. It’s just fun reading
Ages 3-8

Title Author
AfroTina & The Three Bears Fred Crump Jr.
**A retelling of the tale of Goldilocks.
Rapunzel Fred Crump Jr.
**A retelling of the classic fairy tale Rapunzel
Hakim & Grenita Fred Crump Jr
**A retelling of "Hansel and Gretel".
Jamako & The Beanstalk Fred Crump Jr.
A retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk”

Books That Sing by Ashley Bryan

Ashley Bryan was born in New York City, on July 13, 1923. His parents had moved there from the Caribbean island of Antigua after World War I. He had three brothers and two sisters.

When Ashley Bryan began making books in kindergarten, he not only wrote and illustrated them, but he bound and distributed them as well. He continued making books as presents for his family and friends throughout his childhood and into his adult life.

The books he makes now are published by a variety of publishers. Bryan writes his own poetry, retells folktales, and illustrations songs and poems written by other authors. He collected African American spirituals in several books.

Ashley Bryan's address:
Ashley Bryan
Islesford, Maine 04646
*********************************************** *

Ashley Bryan Teacher Resource File
Children may enjoy reading and researching information about the popular author and illustrator of children's books, Ashley Bryan
******************************************** *

Some of Ashley Bryan's book Covers images

******************************************** *
Selected Titles Selected/Authored and Illustrated by Ashley Bryan:

All Night, All Day
McElderry, 1991.
A collection of spirituals illustrated with brilliantly colored paintings.

The Dancing Granny
Atheneum, 1977.
A rhythmical tale from the Antilles, Granny Anika can't resist the song of the Spider Anansi (pictured as a vigorous young man). Spider Anansi tricks Granny Anika four times, but the old lady finally makes him dance with her.

The Ox of the Wonderful Horns and Other African Folktales.
Atheneum, 1971.
A collection of five tales from African enriched with black-and-white tempera paintings highlighted with other images in red, black, and ochre. Includes: "Ananse the Spider in Search of a Fool."

Ashley Bryan's ABCs of African American Poetry
Atheneum, 1997.
Stanzas from poems of twenty-six well-known (and some lesser-known) African American poets. Introduces readers to poets such as, Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, Eloise Greenfield and twenty-three others.

One of Ashley Bryan's books It's a Wonderful World was a song popularized by Louis Armstrong so when Bryan illustrated the book he put "Satchmo" in the book as one of the puppet props which are used as the boys and girls in the book sing the song.
In It's a Wonderful World Bryan used geometric shapes and many bright colors.

******************************************** **
This is an interview Mr. Bryan did with Writer Ray Routhier

Books That Sing ; A Little Cranberry Island Man Uses Spirituals and African Folk Tales As the Basis for His Children's Books.

Source: Portland Press Herald
Publication date: 2005-05-01

Ashley Bryan takes old spirituals sung by slaves, and old folk tales from African tribes, and turns them into children's books.

Bryan, 81, does a lot more, too. He illustrates books. He recites poetry, he paints, he travels the country talking to young people. And people who see him in person don't forget him.

Bryan's presentations feature him leading the crowd in old spirituals, and reciting his stories and poetry with bursts of enthusiasm and energy.

During his long career, the Bronx-born Bryan has written or illustrated some 35 children's books, most based on African folk tales or spirituals. He began his career as a painter, and was chairman of the art department at Dartmouth College from 1974 to 1988. Since 1988 he's lived year-round on Little Cranberry Island, off Mount Desert Island. Q: When did you start doing children's books?

A: In kindergarten. The teacher had us make a book of ABCs and told us "You are the author and the illustrator and the publisher. You must also be the distributor, so take it home." I kept doing that because I loved it. I always drew to what I read. So much art in museums comes from artists reading books.

Q: When you speak to children, you often sing spirituals and recite energetic poems. What sort of reaction do you get?

A: I use a call and response technique to engage the audience, and no audience resists that. My aim is to show people there is a living voice in the printed word, so I use the devices of poetry in my prose - rhyming, alliteration. I tell the children to hear the voice in what they are reading, hear the voice and you will get the meaning. If you are worried about pronouncing everything perfectly, you might get no idea of the meaning.

Poetry is a performance art. Unfortunately, we don't have concerts (of poetry). It's like someone who says they love song and they have never heard a person sing a song.

Q: Where do most of your children's book ideas come from? Do you write first, then illustrate?

A: Essentially my black roots made me want to know about the different story patterns in Africa, so I research sources and find a document, translate it from the tribal language, and make a story out of it.

When I have worked out the story, I get a galley made of the 32- page picture book I'm working on and draw to that. I need to make sure the words go with the illustration on each page.

Q: Where did the idea for your latest book, "Beautiful Blackbird," come from?

A: That's (a folk tale) from Zambia, in southeastern Africa. The first lines are about all the colored birds getting together to see which is the most beautiful bird, and black bird is the most beautiful. The second line was the ringdove asking "Blackbird, would you color me black so that I'll be black like you?"

All I needed (to write the story) were those lines. There are so many stories where black is a lousy color, that's why I wanted to do this one.

Q: What are the best and worst parts of living on Little Cranberry Island year-round?

A: There are only the best parts. I was raised in New York City, but I've always known I was a country boy at heart. I used to go to the park and try to find a place where I could see no buildings, that was my game.

When I got a scholarship to Skowhegan (School of Painting and Sculpture) it was a tremendous revelation, that I could be working outdoors. And when we'd take trips to Acadia, I found (Little Cranberry Island).

I've been here year-round since 1988. It's an island of 80 year- round residents with a one-room schoolhouse and eight children. But there are always things going on.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I'm working on (a book of) three spirituals: "When the Saints Go Marching In"; "This Little Light of Mine"; and "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands."

I've done five books of spirituals already, illustrating them. When I talk to children and ask them if they know any spirituals, not a hand get raised. But when I sing these, everyone knows them.

Blacks were forbidden to read (as slaves), but their minds were free and they created a body of song that is loved and sung throughout the world.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:
[email protected]
Publication date: 2005-05-01

© 2005, YellowBrix, Inc.
******************************************** *****
Washington Post Article on Ashley Bryan

Wagging the Tale Right Off the Page

A League of Their Own


From “We Are The Ship”

The Story of Negro League Baseball.
Written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson.
88 pp. Jump at the Sun/Hyperion. $18.99.
(Ages 8 and up)

Striking Out Jim Crow.
By James Sturm.
Illustrated by Rich Tommaso.
89 pp. The Center for Cartoon Studies/Jump at the Sun/Hyperion.
Cloth, $16.99; paper, $9.99.
(Ages 10 and up)

No more tragic or romantic institution emerged from the Jim Crow era of American life than the Negro League. African-Americans were banished from the majors in 1884, and a few seasons later from the minors as well, under a “gentleman’s agreement” between white owners and players. None would return until Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers some 60 years later.

Black baseball players scrambled to make a living any way they could. In 1920, Rube Foster, star pitcher, manager and owner of the Chicago American Giants, banded eight leading black teams from around the Midwest into the Negro National League, and a legend was born. Over the next 40 years, and through three more segregated major leagues — a second Negro National League, the Eastern Colored League and the Negro American League — African-Americans invented a whole new brand of baseball on the outskirts of town, one that was usually faster, tougher, more merciless than the game played in the white leagues. When black players, led by the likes of Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby, Willie Mays, Roy Campanella, Frank Robinson, Bob Gibson and Roberto Clemente, were finally allowed into the white game, the intelligence and ferocity of their play frequently overwhelmed the opposition.

“We are the ship; all else the sea” was how Rube Foster described his new league, and Kadir Nelson takes the phrase for the title of his riveting picture-book introduction to the Negro Leagues. It was a ship always on the verge of foundering. Players made little money and barnstormed constantly between league contests, sometimes logging as many as three or four games in a day. They traveled everywhere jammed into well-worn buses or private cars, often arriving in a town after many hours on the road only to find that there was no place, in the segregated America of their time, to get a room, have a meal, use the bathroom. They slept in their uniforms, bought their bats at a store and played in fields that were little more than roped-off cow pastures. Owners operated on a shoestring. A harried Foster was committed to a mental asylum, where he died in 1930; his league collapsed a year later. Players were left with the bitter realization that they would never compete on a bigger stage.

And yet, as was the case with many Jim Crow improvisations, African-Americans transformed a white institution into something of their own — something better. Many Negro League teams were owned by blacks; one owner, a hard-edged numbers king by the name of Gus Greenlee, even built his Pittsburgh Crawfords team its own park, in the middle of the Depression. Black managers and players came up with daring new plays and pitches, they performed at dizzying speed, and they regularly beat white teams — perhaps as much as 60 percent of the time — in the postseason exhibitions they put on.

The painter Kadir Nelson has illustrated several award-winning children’s books, including some on black history. This is the first book he has both illustrated and written, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. He uses the conversational, first-person voice of a fictional, anonymous player. It’s a device that generally works well and allows him to include many of the great old tales of the Negro Leagues; he conveys the humor, showmanship and joy that were an integral part of the game, without soft-soaping how hard it all was.

Nelson bolsters his text with an index and endnotes, for the readers who will be drawn by his work to learn more. There is the occasional gaffe. White ballplayers in the 1940s did not make $7,000 a month — more like $7,000 a season — and he goes too easy on the black owners of the Negro League teams who were also running numbers rackets on the side. True, such men had limited opportunities in apartheid America, but they were still gangsters, vultures who preyed upon the desperate hopes of their own communities.

Nelson’s visual narrative is nothing short of magnificent. His paintings include numerous portraits and action scenes, as well as facsimiles of baseball cards, a ticket to the “First Colored World Series” and a beautifully drawn, melancholy sign for a “colored” inn. Particularly enthralling are his full-page portrayals of a white “House of David” ballplayer (from a religious colony in Michigan) with his trademark beard and long hair; an outfielder in an old park during the last days of the black leagues; a double-page spread of Foster’s American Giants stepping down from a Pullman car; and, especially, an early Negro League game played at night.

James Sturm and Rich Tommaso’s “Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow” offers a different approach to the subject, but it’s every bit as engrossing. Both veteran writers and illustrators, Sturm and Tommaso tell the first-person story of a (fictional) black ballplayer who has a heady game against the Birmingham Black Barons in his first weeks of Negro League ball — he doubles off the legendary pitcher Satchel Paige — but then must return to the suffocating, racist world of Tuckwilla, Ala., a small cotton town dominated by an arrogant, white planter family.

It’s a haunting story in which Sturm’s text poignantly conveys the quiet bitterness of his hero, and Tommaso’s spare, two-tone drawings brilliantly contrast the physical beauty of the old, rural South with the savagery of its social institutions. An abiding air of menace hangs over the story like a gathering storm cloud. The authors refuse to look away from anything, not even lynching, although the material remains suitable — even vital — for most children.

Paige himself is as elusive here as he was in real life, but Sturm and Tommaso, along with an excellent introduction by Gerald Early, provide a telling glimpse of this consummate showman, entrepreneur and competitor, who pitched into his mid-60s and against all odds managed to rise above both the black game and the white one. “Don’t look back; something might be gaining on you,” Satch liked to say, but both of these books offer an invaluable look into the treasured and sorrowful past.

Kevin Baker is the author of the historical novel “Strivers Row.” He is currently working on a history of baseball in New York City.

Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

Posted : 05/08/2016 2:54 am
BlackTastic Kmty Registered

Where can I get a copy of Molefi Kete Asante’s classical Africa and Mychal Wynn’s the eagles who thought they were chickens? I can only find them at exorbitant prices on amazon. 

I’ve bought Chike Akua’s A treasure within, Anthony Browder’s Nile valley contributions to civilisations along with the teacher’s/study guides. I’m looking for similar books with teacher’s guides/activities for homeschooling. 

Posted : 05/05/2018 7:47 am