Juneteenth is the recognized African American Independence Day.
We honor and remember our ancestors for surviving the brutality of slavery and for instilling a great resilience that has lasted since 1866 when the last African American in Texas learned of their freedom.
The literary circle is born in that quest for freedom, freedom of the mind to ponder, reflect, and think deeply through experiences that matter to them. The teens in the circle this year continue to delight, inform, and motivate me to remain on my mission.
Real books make a difference.
Author Nic Stone, who wrote Dear Martin and Clean Getaway, recently had a conversation with another Black YA author about the issues within the publishing industry.
When this literary circle started, there were not a lot of quality Black/African American teen books to source. We read a lot of classics. Over the past five years, publishers have discovered that Black books sell. We remain on a quest for them promoting all forms of Afrodiasporan literary works, beyond stereotypical stories of struggle, need, and survival. We want stories of Black teens thriving.
This year, we are reading a variety of books, some of the order has shifted based upon input from the 2020 circle. It is also being developed through a pandemic and protest for Black lives that seem to be ongoing in the 21st century. I reminded them that they are the scribes and chroniclers of history now.
Interested in reading with us? Are you middle or high school and identify as AfroDiasporan? There is still a space in the Zoom room for you. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is our upcoming schedule for the remainder of June
June 15 – The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson – Middle Grade and Slay by Brittney M. Morris -high school
June 23 – Find Your Inner Child – every circler is asked to find and share a children’s book featuring AfroDiasporan children, vivid colors, great stories. They will read their books and then share why they chose it, and will do some reading together. This is one of those times when Middle School and High School will be together.
June 30 – Akata Witch for Middle School and Dear Haiti, Love Alaine for High School. One features a Nigerian Author and the other features Haitian Sisters. High schoolers, get started now on your book, it is 400 pages!
Follow us on Twitter @lattegriot, many of the authors are following me.
On Facebook, @TayeFosterBradshawGroup