Thursday, July 14, 2016

Denial Is Not Peace & Unity

I tried to go to the Service of Peace and Unity in Corpus because I am so, so for peace and unity but when the #AllLivesMatter talk started, I had to leave.  There can be no peace without justice.  There can be no justice without truth.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Black Children Matter

This edition of Wednesdays with the Subversive Children's Book Club is dedicated to the people of color who have been murdered by police this past month, and also to Diamond Reynolds' little girl who so tragically had to witness something no child should see in a world where far too many children of color see it.

Primary and Lower Elementary 
  • If A Bus Could Talk:  The Story of Rosa Parks by Faith Ringgold
  • Ruby Bridges Goes To School:  My True Story by Ruby Bridges
  • Sister Anne’s Hands by Marybeth Lorbiecki
  • Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold 
  • Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
  • A Pocket For Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in The Sky by Faith Ringgold
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  • Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
  • More More More, Said The Baby by Vera Williams
  • Just Us Women by Jeannette Cains 
  • Sit-In:  How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney
  • A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson  
 Upper Elementary
  • One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams Garcia
  • Junebug by Alice Mead
  • Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine 
  •  Double Dutch by Sharon Draper
  • Moses:  When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford
  • From Slave Ship to Freedom Road by Julius Lester
  • Like Sisters on The Homefront by Rita Williams Garcia
  •  Tyrell  by Coe Booth
  • Kendra by Coe Booth
  • Fast Talk On A Slow Track by Rita Williams Garcia
  • After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Hoopster, Hip Hop High School and Homeboyz (a series) by  Alan Lawrence Sitomer
  • My Mother The Cheerleader by Robert Sharenow
  • Al la Carte  by Tanita Davis 
  • Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Patillo Beals.

Readings For People Who Do Not Understand That Racism Still Impacts People

It is hard to know what would be helpful to post, in the darkness following so much tragedy.  I am already involved in trying to advocate for civil rights and hold our governments accountable at every turn.  I try to educate children and young people about equality. I push back when other white people spew their racist rhetoric.  If I were not doing those things, it would be time to start, but also well past time. Mostly at a time like this, I want to listen to people of color if they want to talk and I want to give them space to find what peace they can amidst the horror.  It is not my place to take any charge of a just response. I am here to be an ally.

That said, there is one thing that is my responsibility and the responsibility of other white people to take charge of at such a time - we need to push back harder at the racists around us.  I am deeply horrified at what I am hearing out of the mouths of other white people this past week. The disgusting #AllLivesMatter rhetoric and the excuses, excuses, excuses and more excuses they are willing to make for murder.  It is frankly bad enough when I hear it from uneducated white people who are struggling economically and whose experiences have not included enough sociology or breadth to really understand institutionalized racism.  I know a lot of people like that and I am frustrated by their ignorance and hatred and fear but I also kind of see where it comes from, not that it is an excuse, but beleaguered humans have always tended to tribe up and get all us against them whenever possible, to want to find someone they can stand on when they feel like others are standing on them. It's the impulse that makes progress towards more civil rights and human rights so hard.
When, however, I start hearing #AllLivesMatter junk and all the excuses as to why it was justifiable for innocent people to be murdered, from people in education or mental health fields, it is Just Completely Inexcusable.  Go do some reading.  A whole giant ton of reading.  Start with the selections below and don't come and spew your ignorance at me until you have finished, please.  Or at least get another job where you can do less harm.  I mean it.

  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander
  • Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  •  This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, by
  • Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, by Monique W. Morris
  • For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood... and the Rest of Y'all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education, by Christopher Emdin

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Democracy! Active Citizenship!

In honor of the 4th, this installment of the Subversive Children's Book Club is about active citizenship:  books that help show our children about being active, participating citizens in our democracy.  Enjoy!

Primary and Lower Elementary:

  • Click, Clack, Moo:  Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
  • A Is For Activist by Innosanto Nagara
  • The Streets Are Free by Kurusa
  • Si, Se Puede!: Janitor Strike In L.A. by Diana Cohn
  • You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer! by Shana Corey
  • Sit-In:  How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney
  • If A Bus Could Talk:  The Story of Rosa Parks by Faith Ringgold
  • Ruby Bridges Goes To School:  My True Story by Ruby Bridges
  • The Ballot Box Battle By Emily Arnold McCully
  • Wangari's Trees of Peace By Jeannette Winter 
Upper Elementary and Teen Books:

  • The Landry News by Andrew Clements
  • The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman
  • Crash by Jerry Spinelli.
  • Standing Up to Mr. O by Claudia Mills.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Happy 4th! Remember What Democracy Is Actually About!

Remember, y'all - real patriots educate themselves about the issues and the democratic process - not by watching Fox News or by listening to a bunch of racist, classist stories, but through actual research.  

Real patriots weigh the issues and make mature, informed choices about what will work best for the nation in every election, large and small, taking into account all that is at stake and making hard choices, not childish ones.

Real patriots always, always vote.