Hello all –
I hope that this day finds you each doing well.
This week I’m offering something a bit different than our typical Reading RoundUp. In honor of Black History Month, we’d like to share with you information about Read Africa Week, a literacy initiative that takes place from February 1 – 7 and highlights the wonderful resources of the Children’s Africana Book Award (CABA).
Much like we refer to the Américas Award when looking for juvenile literature focused on our main region, Latin America, CABA highlights juvenile literature by African authors and about African culture. The award was created by Africa Access and the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association (ASA) to encourage the publication and use of accurate, balanced children’s materials about Africa.
Organized by CABA colleagues at Howard University (including the Center for African Studies and the School of Education), Read Africa Week “invites teachers, librarians, parents, and concerned adults to introduce young people to kick off Black History Month with great books about Africa and continue reading about Africa all year.” Check out the recommended books here! Similar to other organizations promoting diversity in literature, the books recommended are vetted by African Studies scholars to provide “accurate, balanced, books [that] can change and expand what we know, think and feel about Africa.”
Drawing on the expertise of these scholars, Read Africa Week provides lists of recommended books, including picture books, CABA winners, chapter books, and new adult reads. We can’t urge you enough to go visit and peruse the Africa Access website to access these resources and many more, including lesson plans and other relevant materials. We’re happy to support this initiative and hope that you are able to check out these resources soon. As we know, it is always in season to expand our minds and hearts through reading!
Returning to our emphasis here at Vamos a Leer, we’d like to close by offering some resources that complement Read Africa Week by looking at the African diaspora of the Americas and afrolatinidad:
- To see a list of recommended books about Afro-Caribbean culture, see Kalyn’s Reading Roundup on Afro-Caribbean Children’s and Young Adult Books
- To dwell for a moment on the importance of including African cultures and the African diaspora in children’s books, check out this article from World of Words: “Children’s Literature and Poetry Depicting Children in the African Diaspora”
- For resources specific to the Caribbean, check out the online magazine Ananseem, which covers news, ideas, arts & letters from the world of Caribbean children’s publishing
- From Latina magazine, here’s a list of “13 books with an Afro-Latino protagonist,” including Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older (for which we produced an educator’s guide) among a number of other titles that we’ve added to our TBR list.
- What else? Let us know what other resources are out there!
Un gran abrazo,