For Black History Month 2020, I wanted to showcase some amazing books that have been read, reread, forgotten, discovered, and reread yet again. I will be publishing each book on every Tuesday and Thursday throughout February. These are books for every level ; some for a ride in the stroller while others are longer, young adult books. Regardless of the anyones age, these are books that have a positive, progressive social message, or strong minority and/or female characters. They promote understanding of difference, diversity, and inclusion. By being exposed to diverse characters and stories- we teach our children, and ourselves, empathy, respect for others, and visibility to the many other cultures besides our own.
In 2017, when Vashti Harrison released her first book, Little Leaders: Bold Women and Black History, she took the book world by storm. She had on instant New York Times best seller and USA Today best seller. Little Leaders is is a fantastic account of black women who made and continue to make American history. It is easy to read before bedtime, the exposure to wonderfully brave and heroic woman and can spark some great nighttime conversations. The illustrations balance out the succinct mini-biographies and bring to life both quintessential, and lesser-known female figures of black history, such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, chemist Alice Ball, pilot Bessie Coleman. Also poet Gwendolyn Brooks, mathematician Katherine Johnson, Air Force General Marcelite Harris, educator / sculpture Augusta Savage, activist Angela Davis, and filmmaker Julie Dash- to name a few. This book makes great gift to both girls and boys. Exposing boys to female leadership whose actions, beliefs, and heroic deeds contributed to making the world a better place for generations to come.
In a recent article for The New York Times, Vashti lets the light in to her Brooklyn studio where we see how she creates stories and works on her illustrations. A neat little glimpse of a young writer and illustrator who has bright future.
Find out more about Vashti Harrison Here: www.vashtiharrison.com
Vashti Harrison, is the New York Times bestselling author-illustrator of Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History and Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World.She is an artist and filmmaker with a passion for storytelling. She earned her BA in studio art and media studies from the University of Virginia and her MFA in Film/Video from CalArts, where she snuck into animation and illustration classes to learn from Disney and DreamWorks legends. There, she rekindled a love for drawing and painting. Now she uses her love of both film and illustration to craft beautiful stories for children.