In honor of Juneteenth and the importance of conversations with children about race (related post– Kidlit Opens the Door to Conversation), today’s topic is the New York Post’s article by Hannah Frishberg “NYPL Releases Juneteenth Reading List For Kids.”
The list comes from the NYPL’s 95-year-old Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and includes 65 book titles geared toward teaching children and teens about the black experience, history and current events.
“It is so important to remember, honor and celebrate Juneteenth, such a critical moment in the history of our nation, and one that continues to have tremendous impact on today’s events,” says Schomburg Center director Kevin Young in a press release. The June 19 holiday, one of the oldest in America, marks the freeing of the last US slaves — in Galveston, Texas — on June 19, 1865.
“Without honest contemplation and discussions, there won’t be progress,” Young continues, adding that if everyone takes the time to better understand the black experience, “real change can happen.”
The list includes the board books “A Is for Activist” and “Antiracist Baby,” as well as Jacqueline Woodson’s “Brown Girl Dreaming” and “The Day You Begin.”
The Library has made “as many e-copies as possible of the titles,” available to browse and borrow for free via the Library’s digital collections.
“Many of our patrons connect with the Schomburg Shop specifically for the books by black and brown authors whose work enables black and brown children to see themselves in complete and dynamic ways,” says Cortez.
Last week, the Schomburg Center released a Black Liberation Reading List for adults. In eight days, that list has already received 7,000 checkouts, the library says.
On Juneteenth and throughout the following week, several of the listed books will be read by authors, politicians and librarians on the library’s social channels. The full virtual programming roster will be shared on NYPL’s site.