BOOK CLUB AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH
To promote dignity amongst young black men through reading and exposure to avenues outside of sports and music.
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Alice Harte Library
Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans, where music always floated in the air, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews didn’t always have the money to buy an instrument, but he did have the dream to play music. This is the story of how he made his dream take flight.
Alice Harte Library
On the football field, Joe Delaney possessed all the qualities of a great running back. He was fast with keen instincts, a burst of red and gold as he sprinted toward the end zone for the Kansas City Chiefs. Off the field, he embodied the qualities of a great person: generous, hard-working, humble, and honest. Helping people was simply second nature to Joe.
Alice Harte Library
Founded in Oakland, California, in 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was a radical political organization that stood in defiant contrast to the mainstream civil rights movement. This gripping illustrated history explores the impact and significance of the Panthers, from their social, educational, and healthcare programs that were designed to uplift the Black community to their battle against police brutality through citizen patrols and frequent clashes with the FBI, which targeted the Party from its outset.
A little about us
We are a family of five. Therese' (myself), My husband Justin and our three boys Jordan, Dylan, and Aiden. We had been living in England up until May of 2018. Being in Europe really made our three boys more receptive to newer experiences. Even better than that, it made them more conscious of their blackness (In a good way). Growing up in a predominantly black city such as New Orleans, it’s easy to take genuinely black experiences for granted. Being outside of the south, and more so, out of America, having genuine exposure to the diaspora, really made the boys yearn for a re-connection with their people. They all coped in different ways. Dylan’s outlet was reading. So summer 2018 arrives and Dylan informs us that he plans to read 85 books before summers end. (Really?) I convinced him to reel it back some. Partly for selfish reasons as I knew I couldn’t bear sitting through that many books. So eventually we agreed on 60 books with a gift at 20 book intervals. Incremental increases were established: 20 books=small gift, 40 books=medium gift and 60 books=large gift. All gifts of his choosing once the milestones were met. He kept reading and we kept buying. (Books and gifts) He completed his 60th book around the beginning of August. What made this experience unique however, was that it presented us the opportunity to seek out more and more books with black authors and black protagonists, all the while sharing on social media the gems we were finding in these black books. This may come as a surprise to some of you readers, but people of African descent were represented in a very positive light in the assigned curriculum in the English School System. I mention this because we received his summer required reading for the school he’d be attending upon our return to the states. It floored us. You would think in a predominantly black city and in an almost all black school we would see ourselves represented and If so, represented well. Hardly the case! He was assigned books about white female babysitters (you know the one) and another that was being assigned since I was his age. Ridiculous! And when black males lose interest in school over time, everyone is looking around confused. Here is why. Black people and black males in particular need representation and someone they can relate and aspire to. We had been reading, posting, and reviewing great books all summer at this point, so we said “Why not us?” Let’s step up and fill the void left by our school systems. Our boys deserve it and so much more.
View our guest blog post for peachtree online here!