In honor of February being Black History month, I am sharing two books that we own that I recommend reading – starting with a book that I count as one of the most influential reads of my life.
To Be a Slave by Julius Lester
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Author Julius Lester is descended from slaves, and this heritage inspired him to put together the book, To Be a Slave, featuring words of slaves together with historical commentary from the author. The book tells slavery as it truly was in America, and as a result the content is very serious. The recommended age for readers is 10 and up. I first read the book when I was eight years old; I was a serious and thoughtful child and could understand and think about what I read at that age (remember I had already dealt with a cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy by that time). To Be a Slave remains one of the most influential books I have read in my life. It is a book that I think everyone should read. As Julius Lester says, “We repeat history until we are able to make another’s pain in the heart our own.” This is a history we cannot afford to repeat.
Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story by Ruby Bridges
Ruby Bridges was the first black child to attend William Frantz Elementary School following the court-ordered integration of schools in New Orleans in 1960. She was only six years old, and the only black child in an incredibly unwelcoming environment. Her narration of the story in Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story emphasizes the fact that one person can make a difference – even a very small child who is brave and willing to persevere against tremendous odds.
This post is part of the Black History Month series on Multicultural Kid Blogs. Be sure to visit the main page for the full schedule and to link up your own posts about sharing Black History Month with kids.