Twenty years after its publication, Sharon G. Flake’s bestselling, Coretta Scott King award winning novel is as relevant today as the first day it was published. Here, at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, I sat down with Sharon to ask questions about The Skin I’m In, her life as an author and how the library had an influence on her as a child.
Learning begins at birth! Not only are our Best Books for Babies Baby Book Showers a fantastic way to jump start your child’s education, they are fun, too! Join us Saturday, May 5th at CLP – Hazelwood and Saturday, May 12th at CLP – Allegheny, from 1:30-2:30pm to celebrate this year’s Best Books for Babies!
The 20th Annual Summit Against Racism brought together over 600 people from various backgrounds, with the mission of eliminating racism. From the workshops that we did attend, and the one that we presented, the knowledge and insight provided has been immense.
Black and white graphic illustrations guide us along the streets of Chicago as Roger, the narrator of Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty tells us this story. Roger knew of Yummy, aka Robert, the nickname being an indication of Robert’s love for sweets. While he was short in stature and looked innocent, Yummy belonged to the Black Disciples, a gang that ruled the Chicago streets. Seeking their approval, Yummy fired several shots which killed fourteen year old Shavon Dean, an aspiring hairdresser that everyone knew, even Yummy. Yummy immediately fled, his image plastered on television screens for the world to see.
I never knew the true texture of my hair until I was in my mid-twenties. The time I spent at my aunt’s shop meant slapping a relaxer on my hair and smoothing it out until she was convinced my hair would be straight enough for the gods. I never went too long without a relaxer for fear of the new growth or “naps” underneath, a severely flawed fear passed down from generation to generation.
This month, I was invited to attend the Masterclass in Children’s Literature, hosted by We Need Diverse Books. This class, organized by Kwame Alexander (The Crossover) and Jacqueline Woodson (Brown … Continued
Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester was not only an eye-opener, but a moving account of how we can bring up the discussion of race among children. With children being teased in school because of the color of their skin, and even adults being singled out for being a minority, it’s important that we all dig deep inside to understand that our differences shouldn’t set us apart, but bring us together.
As a child of the eighties and nineties I assumed that others like myself were enjoying a similar childhood. Perhaps my neighbors weren’t making trips to see their great-grandparents in Kentucky, perhaps they weren’t playing Skip-It, or rollerblading down hills, but without a doubt they were experiencing a childhood. In the bubble of my mind and the shelter of my childhood, this experience was being had by all. It was not.
It was the mid-nineties and I was ten. I sat under the hairdryer at my great-aunt’s beauty shop. The gossip of old friends, sounds of laughter, the sight of steam … Continued
Having my books signed by Jason Reynolds at the 2016 National Book Festival was exciting for a number of reasons. It allowed for me to physically meet an author I admire. It also allowed for me to see that, as an author, I can have success as well. Lastly, the inspirational words that he wrote in my books will help me to keep going in an industry that can be daunting. Be brave! Don’t give up!