Tag Archives: #blackboylit

2021: A Reading Year-In-Progress

JANUARY

One of my multiplying book stacks…

Luster, Raven Leilani
A working class Black girl’s struggle to find herself while navigating a complicated relationship with her white male lover.

Finna, Nate Marshall #blackboylit
A moving book of poetry about Blackness, love of Black people, and Chicago.

The Girl with the Louding Voice, Abi Dare
A young Nigerian girl overcomes a tremendous number of hardships, holding true to her desire to be educated and to find her voice.

Concrete Rose, Angie Thomas #blackboylit
Maverick Carter’s story is powerful: teenage father learning to find his voice and his own power. It will make you immediately go reread The Hate U Give

FEBRUARY

Memorial, Bryan Washington
Queer love story about a Black man and his Asian lover, a dying father, family dynamics, and what happens when a relationship can (and should?) end. It’s not easy, by any stretch of the imagination.


My 2020 Year-In-Reading


Any suggestions about what I should add (or fast track to the top) to my stack? If so, leave them in the comments. Thank you!

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2020: A Wrap-Up & #Blackboylit Faves

I always love reading folks’ year-end reflections. I’ve rarely gotten it together to write one myself, but think that, in this moment I have between working on my book that’s slated to come out in 2021 and procrastination, a year in review seems appropriate.

First, thanks to everyone who’s reached out in solidarity, in purchases of coffee (thank you!) and in love to express their support for #DisruptTexts and my co-founders. The greatest thanks is doing the work; thus, please continue to #DisruptTexts in ways that fundamentally normalize high achievement for all students, and especially Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other POC children and youth. Please, keep doing that.

Top Blog Posts

  1. 31 Days: We Begin, Again
  2. Dr. Joseph Rodriguez’ Guest Post for #31DaysIBPOC
  3. Announcing: My New JAAL Column
  4. 2020: My Year in Reading Progress

There were also lots of hits around the site about me, how to work with me, and publications/podcasts. I am limiting my professional development work in 2021 to allow me to be intentional about what I say yes to, to continue existing relationships with departments who have already contracted with me, and to be able to continue doing my own work that enables me to be authentic during my PD work. Thus, if you’d like to work with me, please reach out, knowing I have limited availability, but I’d love to work with you if possible.

My Faves

I had a few favorite things from 2020.

My #Blackboylit faves include:

Ty’s Travels from Kelly Starling Lyons–so great for emergent readers!

I Am Every Good Thing, Gordon James & Derrick Barnes

Class Act, Jerry Craft

King and the Dragonflies, Kacen Callender

I was in a significant reading rut because pandemic. I know there were such great young adult and verse texts for #blackboylit that I intend to read in 2021. Once I do, I’ll update my favorites to include those as well. Thanks to Black Children’s Books and Authors for their comprehensive lists that help me to keep my TBR abundant (and I also donated during Kwanzaa in the spirit of cooperative economics, BTW).

I did enjoy expanding to #bipocboylit because I collaborated with one of my favorite brilliant people and educators, Aeriale Johnson. We wrote “Literacy As a Tool for Liberation” for ASCD. In 2021, I am hoping for more opportunities to write with people I admire and who push my practice. Ms. J and I are working on a book together; send us your energy so we complete that project! That’s why I loved editing the JAAL column; such fantastic voices that we should be paying attention to in the field of literacy work.

I had the most fun interviewing MacArthur Genius Fellow THE Jackie Woodson for the Horn Book magazine with some of my favorite Black women. There was so much love for her and for Black children in that moment.

2021: Looking Ahead

ASCD is insisting I complete this book, lol. So, look for that to be out at some point. It’s about how we can do the work of creating culturally relevant intentional literacy communities for Black and IPOC youth. I’m excited for that.

I’ll continue presenting nationally and leading PD for districts. Reach out if you’d like to think about working with me. I’m energized by the work departments are undertaking to push their own understandings forward as they select texts that can make a difference on readers. The best way to find me is through the Find Me/Work with Me page.

I’m grateful for the abundant opportunities to engage in such a broad range of literacy experiences, even during the midst of a global pandemic that has impacted so many. I am encouraged that I am in community with people who are committed to equity, liberation, and justice.

May we have a better 2021. Together.

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#Blackboylit: Martellus Bennett’s Washington Post Perspective is a Must Read: Let Black Boys Dream

I ordered Martellus Bennett’s forthcoming Dear Black Boy. His essay in the Washington Post is simply beautiful and is a powerful reminder for why we need a range of texts and representation for Black boys.

Martellus Bennett (Photo Credit: The Nation)

“We can begin to change that — not just by integrating those mostly white realms but also by allowing black boys the space to dream differently. Accept them for who they show you that they really are. When you look at black boys, see them as the future writers, composers, chefs, tech moguls, presidents, film directors, architects, illustrators or fashion designers that they are. The world is more beautiful when we let black boys dream big.”

Enjoy!

Oh, and be sure to #supportBlackwriters and buy the book!!!

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#blackboylit: New & Notable

I’ve been loving some new titles (or new to me) that I’ll either be book talking in upcoming presentations or suggesting when folks ask. Here are a few. All make worthy additions to the on-going list of resources distributed at workshops and available here.

Dream Country by Shannon Gibney

The Season of Styx Malone, Kekla Magoon (MG): funny, buddy novel that includes a realistic Black family living in rural Indiana

Where’s Rodney? Carmen Bogan (PB): fantastic way of thinking about why Black boys (and ALL kids) need to be able to experience nature and what happens when they are outside and able to LIVE

The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip Hop, Carole Boston Weatherford & Frank Morrison (PB): this just arrived in my library. I’ve heard great things about this book and can’t wait to read it.

Finding Langston, Lisa Cline-Ransome (MG): a gentle, slim, beautifully written novel about a boy who moves to Chicago with his father during the Great Migration and struggles to find his way. Literacy saves him, and so, too, does love. Oh how I love this book.

The Parker Inheritance, Varian Johnson (MG): another on my TBR list. It’s picked up a bunch of awards and I’m thinking this is a good model for boy-girl friendships and could spark some healthy discussion about being a good friend, especially for tweens.

Dream Country, Shannon Gibney (YA): I do think this is the first example of a YA novel that covers the relationship between African immigrants and African Americans. Reminded me a lot of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, in that it’s intergenerational and takes place in Liberia and in Minnesota. Be sure to read Gibney’s acknowledgements, particularly about why she wrote her book and about Black boys. Image credit 

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Materials from AISNE #blackboylit Presentation

 

terricks-noah-568914-unsplash.jpg

Photo from Terricks Noah, Unsplash

I joined Jack Hill from the Cambridge Friends School to talk about Black boy masculinities and literature for the AISNE Diversity conference on October 24. Materials are available here (AISNE_ #blackboylit Presentation 10.24.18) and the draft of the text evaluation tool I’m piloting (#blackboylit_ Black Boys Doing What Text Evaluation).

If you use any of these or find anything helpful, I’d love to know more, as I’m constantly tweaking the work.

 

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