Today in #TheLagosReview


I was a biracial child in the 1980s. So, growing up, there weren’t a lot of picture books that had people who looked like me. I think my parents realized this early on and tried to make up for it the best they could. Consequently, most of the books I remember having were The Berenstain Bears. Which isn’t to say that Black children’s books couldn’t be found. It just took a lot of work to find them.

Happily, that isn’t the case today. There are infinitely more options for children of color. Book Riot has even showcased articles about this, focusing on older readers, as well as books to read to celebrate Black History Month. This list of Black children’s books by Black authors are ones which you may want to get for the kiddos in your life. This is a mix of current and older titles.

As a call out, some of the books below will feature biracial children. Nowadays, most places will allow you to check more than one when it comes to your race. I can and do proudly proclaim I am biracial or ‘mixed’. However, this was not always the case, though, even for me. In the Southern states, the mindset was one drop meant you were considered Black. As a result, I had to check only that through all my public school years. I am sure that is the case even now in some locations. So, some of the books I mention will include biracial children so that they too can see someone like them in the pictures they look at.


    Taken from the poem by Langston Hughes and beautifully illustrated by Qualls, this book is all about the love between an African American mother and her baby. A good first book for mothers to read to their children, since it is artistically illustrates all the types of loving tender maternal moments.
    An adorable little picture book about all the things that brown boys love. This would be perfect for toddlers and beginning readers with the awesome illustrations and a delightful rhyming scheme.
    Imani is a young Maasai girl who has big dreams to touch the moon. She will not be deterred from her goal either, no matter how much teasing she has to face from those around her. This sounds like a delightful little book about never giving up on your dreams, no matter what.

Read more here:


Candacy Taylor’s ‘Overground Railroad’ takes historical look at African American travel

The Harlem-based author, who grew up in Columbus, explored the history of the “Green Book,” a guide for black travelers during segregation. She will visit Gramercy Books at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

From the 1930s through the 1960s, Charlie’s Place was a popular, African American-owned nightclub in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Billie Holiday, Ray Charles and Little Richard were just some of the legendary performers who graced its stage.

But the good times were interrupted one night in 1950, when members of the Ku Klux Klan injured several people by shooting 400 rounds of ammunition into the club; they also kidnapped the owner, Charlie Fitzgerald, and cut off parts of his earlobes.

″(Charlie) had a lot of power in that community as a black man. He was an ongoing threat. … They did not want black people demanding that they should be treated equally,” said author, photographer and Columbus native Candacy Taylor, who relates Fitzgerald’s story in her new book, “Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America.”

Now based in Harlem, New York, Taylor will return to her hometown to discuss her work during an appearance at Gramercy Books in Bexley at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The focus of her work is the “Negro Motorist Green Book,” aka the “Green Book,” created in 1936 by New York postal worker Victor Hugo Green. The annual travel guide for African Americans during the Jim Crow era of legalized segregation included restaurants, hotels, stores, banks and other businesses — many black-owned, including Charlie’s Place — throughout the U.S., where they could be served and protected from violence.

The guide was published through 1967 — three years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination and racial segregation in public facilities.

“It was almost like a ‘Yellow Pages’ for black businesses,” Taylor said. “It was tailored for our race at a very specific time in our history.”

More people have discovered the historic travel guide in recent years; it provided inspiration for the 2018 Oscar-winning film “Green Book.” Taylor’s research, which she began in 2013, also is helping to document the extent of its impact.

With fellowships and grants from institutions such as the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University and the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Taylor has been able to catalog nearly 10,000 locations culled from “Green Books.”

She spent seven months driving across the country, scouting and photographing more than 4,000 sites. Though abandoned, some of the buildings still stand. Eighty percent are gone, she said, and only 3 percent still operate.

Read more here:–candacy-taylors-overground-railroad–takes-historical-look-at-african-american-travel


Blues legend Simon Milton praises Ipswich youngsters giving 10,000 books to African children

Copleston High School is donating books to the Futurestars charity for children to in Ghana to make use of. Left to right, Copleston students Mya Krejsa-Gwilliam, Zoe Stagg and Meghan Cornwell-McGarry with teacher Marc Lloyd. Picture: COPLESTON HIGH SCHOOL
Copleston High School is donating books to the Futurestars charity for children to in Ghana to make use of. Left to right, Copleston students Mya Krejsa-Gwilliam, Zoe Stagg and Meghan Cornwell-McGarry with teacher Marc Lloyd. Picture: COPLESTON HIGH SCHOOL
Mr Milton, who made more than 300 appearances for the Blues between 1986 and 1997, is director of the charity Futurestars – which aims to boost education in Ghana and Togo.
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The Gippeswyk Community Educational Trust school supported Futurestars with its kit amnesty in 2018 and 2019 by donating sporting equipment no longer needed to help the organisation’s weekly sports sessions, run by qualified coaches, for underprivileged children.

With the growth of online teaching materials and the move to a new building later this year, the Copleston Road school has been reviewing its books collection.

It has decided to donate educational textbooks to Futurestars so they can benefit children thousands of miles away.

Copleston teacher Marc Lloyd said: “With the move to the new building, we have a requirement to strip down any unneeded resources and we had a whole cupboard load of textbooks that were no longer required.

“In previous years we’ve had Simon Milton come in to collect sports equipment, so we contacted him to say we had these books as well.”

Mr Lloyd said what started as a pile of books soon started to grow, with Copleston given a container of its own to fill.

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“We’re building up the container and will go to over 10,000 books – we’re up to about 1,000 at the moment,” he said.

The project is a huge charitable effort for the school, which needs to check each book is still relevant and can be used by children abroad.

Pupils have also volunteered to list and load the books into the container.

But Mr Lloyd said it will have a “massive impact” on the educational chances of the African children.

Mr Milton said: “I am delighted that Copleston High School has once again decided to support Futurestars in 2020.

“Following the very successful Kit Amnesty in 2018 and 2019, they are now supporting us again with the donation of much needed books for our five Partner Schools.

“The Copleston pupils who have volunteered to list and load the books into the container are using this initiative as their way of giving their own time and energy to support children in West Africa who are less fortunate than themselves.

“We are indebted to Copleston High School and its pupils for their amazing drive an determination to help.”


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