This February, we examine the theme, “The Crisis in Black Education.” The usual reaction upon hearing that word, “crisis” is to panic. That is precisely what has happened for decades in our educational system. In this instance, “crisis” means breakthrough. We are restructuring, rebuilding and repairing education to make sure our children are poised for success and prepared to compete. These digital titles are listed in the SLPL Black History Month booklet.
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Peña
Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don't own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn't he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.
The Book Itch by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Lewis's dad said he had an itch he needed to scratch-a book itch. How to scratch it? He started the National Memorial African Bookstore. It became a center of black culture and a home to activists like Malcolm X.
Don't Call Me Grandma by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Great-grandmother Nell eats fish for breakfast, she doesn't hug or kiss, and she does NOT want to be called grandma. Her great-granddaughter isn't sure what to think about her. As she slowly learns more about Nell's life and experiences, the girl finds ways to connect with her prickly great-grandmother.
The Stone Thrower by Jael Ealey Richardson
The African-American football player Chuck Ealey grew up in a segregated neighborhood of Portsmouth, Ohio. Against all odds, he became an incredible quarterback. But despite his unbeaten record in high school and university, he would never play professional football in the United States. Chuck Ealey grew up poor in a racially segregated community that was divided from the rest of town by a set of train tracks, but his mother assured him that he wouldn't stay in Portsmouth forever. Education was the way out, and a football scholarship was the way to pay for that education. So despite the racist taunts he faced at all the games he played in high school, Chuck maintained a remarkable level of dedication and determination. And when discrimination followed him to university and beyond, Chuck Ealey remained undefeated.
We Came to America by Faith Ringgold
From the Native Americans who first called this land their home, to the millions of people who have flocked to its shores ever since, America is a country rich in diversity. Some of our ancestors were driven by dreams and hope. Others came in chains, or were escaping poverty or persecution. No matter what brought them here, each person embodied a unique gift—their art and music, their determination and grit, their stories and their culture. And together they forever shaped the country we all call home.
Booked by Kwame Alexander
In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER, soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read.
The Magnificent Mya Tibbs by Crystal Allen
Nine-year-old Mya Tibbs is boot-scootin' excited for the best week of the whole school year—SPIRIT WEEK! She and her megapopular best friend, Naomi Jackson, even made a pinky promise to be Spirit Week partners so they can win the big prize: special VIP tickets to the Fall Festival!
Hoodoo by Ronald L. Smith
Twelve-year-old Hoodoo Hatcher was born into a family with a rich tradition of practicing folk magic: hoodoo, as most people call it. But even though his name is Hoodoo, he can't seem to cast a simple spell. Then a mysterious man called the Stranger comes to town, and Hoodoo starts dreaming of the dead rising from their graves. Even worse, he soon learns the Stranger is looking for a boy. Not just any boy. A boy named Hoodoo. The entire town is at risk from the Stranger's black magic, and only Hoodoo can defeat him. He'll just need to learn how to conjure first.
Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia
The Coretta Scott King Award–winning Gone Crazy in Alabama by Newbery Honor and New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of the Gaither sisters as they travel from the streets of Brooklyn to the rural South for the summer of a lifetime. Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother Big Ma and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles's half sister, Miss Trotter. The two half sisters haven't spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that's been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible.
Juba! by Walter Dean Myers
New York City's Five Points district in 1846 is a volatile mixture of poor blacks and immigrants from Europe. William Henry Lane is a teenager working odd jobs to make ends meet, but he really loves to dance. Watching the other dancers in Five Points, and practicing when he can, he gets so good that he begins to call himself "Master Juba." Master Juba is just another entertainer, dancing in return for supper money, until he is brought to the attention of Charles Dickens, the great English novelist. Dickens writes about Juba and his dancing in his book American Notes, and it is as "Boz's Juba" (Boz was Dickens's nom de plume) that Juba performs in England with the Pell Serenaders. Juba quickly finds that, in London, he's turning heads and taking the city by storm with his dancing skills and sense of rhythm. But what will Juba do when the Serenaders have to return to the United States? Slavery has been abolished in England; in the U.S., it still exists in all its ugliness. Free black men and women are often captured in the North and sent down South as slaves. England offers freedoms that Juba could only dream of in the States, and returning home may prove a dangerous decision. This novel is based on a true story, the intricacies of Juba's meteoric rise as an explosive young black dancer brought to life by Walter Dean Myers through meticulous and intensive
A Graphic Novel Monster by Walter Dean Myers
A stunning black-and-white graphic novel adaptation of Walter Dean Myers's Michael L. Printz Award winner and New York Times bestseller Monster, adapted by Guy Sims and illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile Monster is a multi-award-winning, provocative coming-of-age story about Steve Harmon, a teenager awaiting trial for a murder and robbery. As Steve acclimates to juvenile detention and goes to trial, he envisions the ordeal as a movie. Monster was the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award recipient, an ALA Best Book, a Coretta Scott King Honor selection, and a National Book Award finalist.
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
If you love Eleanor and Park, Hazel and Augustus, and Mia and Adam, you'll love the story of Maddy, a girl who's literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly, the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she's ever taken. This innovative and heartfelt debut novel unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, illustrations, and more.
Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique W. Morris
Fifteen-year-old Diamond stopped going to school the day she was expelled for lashing out at peers who constantly harassed and teased her for something everyone on the staff had missed: she was being trafficked for sex. After months on the run, she was arrested and sent to a detention center for violating a court order to attend school.
Black girls represent 16 percent of female students but almost half of all girls with a school-related arrest. The first trade book to tell these untold stories, Pushout exposes a world of confined potential and supports the growing movement to address the policies, practices, and cultural illiteracy that push countless students out of school and into unhealthy, unstable, and often unsafe futures.
Blackballed: The Black and White Politics of Race on America's Campuses by Lawrence Ross
"College" is a word that means many things to many people: a space for knowledge, a place to gain lifelong friends, and an opportunity to transcend one's socioeconomic station. Today, though, this word also recalls a slew of headlines that have revealed a dark and persistent world of racial politics on campus. Does this association disturb our idealized visions of what happens behind the ivied walls of higher learning? It should - because campus racism on college campuses is as American as college football on Fall Saturdays.
Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching by Mychal Denzel Smith
How do you learn to be a black man in America? For young black men today, it means coming of age during the presidency of Barack Obama. It means witnessing the deaths of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, and too many more. It means celebrating powerful moments of black self-determination for LeBron James, Dave Chappelle, and Frank Ocean.
In Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching, Mychal Denzel Smith chronicles his own personal and political education during these tumultuous years, describing his efforts to come into his own in a world that denied his humanity. Smith unapologetically upends reigning assumptions about black masculinity, rewriting the script for black manhood so that depression and anxiety aren't considered taboo, and feminism and LGBTQ rights become part of the fight. The questions Smith asks in this book are urgent—for him, for the martyrs and the tokens, and for the Trayvons that could have been and are still waiting.
Inspired by the famous Norman Rockwell painting comes the true story of six-year-old Ruby Bridges, one of the first African-American students to integrate a public elementary school in New Orleans. Into her life comes Harvard psychologist Robert Coles. Together, they overcome the threatening crowds, earning them both a place in history and a life-long friend in each other. Guided by the strength and love of her parents and protected by federal marshals, this young girl would show grace and dignity as she endured jeers, threats and insults while making her way up the step of the school. Once inside, Ruby found her classroom empty as the white parents had pulled their children from the school. Barbara Henry, a caring and courageous teacher, would become the friend Ruby needed and the teacher she deserved.
The Great Debaters (Original Motion Picture Score)
In 1935 at a small African-American college in Texas, a professor named Melvin B. Tolson, played by Denzel Washington in the film, worked to form the school’s first debate team. The school would go on to challenge Harvard University in the national debate championship.
Lean On Me (Soundtrack)
In the biographical film as high school principal, Joe Louis Clark, played by Morgan Freeman, who in 1987 took over a troubled inner city high school in Paterson, New Jersey. Clark’s unconventional and disciplinarian methods began to turn the school around and win him both fans and detractors.
The African-American Experience: The American Mosaic
Developed by African-American librarians and subject specialists and organized by era, this vast and accessible database covers the topic of African-American history and its relation to U.S. history through published articles, essays, objects and artifacts, ideas and movements, images, documents and other historical and culturally valuable sources.
Available at slpl.org and on the reference computers at all SLPL locations
Focusing predominantly on Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, New York and towns and cities in North Carolina, this resource presents multiple aspects of the African-American community through pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals, correspondence, official records, reports and in-depth oral histories, revealing the prevalent challenges of racism, discrimination and integration and a unique African-American culture and identity. It includes materials and records from Pruitt-Igoe, the Delmo Housing Corporation and the Urban League of St. Louis, among others.
Available on the reference computers at all SLPL locations