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
Dear Black Boy is a letter of encouragement to all the brown-skinned boys around the world who feel like sports are all they have. It is a reminder that they are more than athletes, more than a jersey number, more than a great crossover or a forty-time, that the biggest game that they'll ever play is the game of life, and there are people rooting for them off of the courts and fields, not as athletes, but as future leaders of the world!
Alice Harte Library
Celebrated author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Floyd Cooper provide a powerful look at the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation’s history. The book traces the history of African Americans in Tulsa’s Greenwood district and chronicles the devastation that occurred in 1921 when a white mob attacked the Black community.
Alice Harte Library
In 1968, Arthur Ashe climbed his way to the top of the tennis world in a time filled with racial tension and segregation. But his success didn't happen without help. Arthur's close relationship with his younger brother, Johnnie, was key to Arthur becoming the first Black man to break the color barrier in men's tennis.
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!