Recap & Review
It may appear jarring and unsettling to conclude the month's book reviews with Unspeakable. 28 Days and Lillian's Right to Vote are inspirational children's picture books. Why is it necessary to include a book which is most certainly not inspirational, but heart-breaking?
Because Unspeakable speaks the truth about one destructive incident of racially motivated violence.
When we read inspiring stories about people who have overcome obstacles, it's important to give our children an understanding of the historical context of said obstacles. In the case of Black history in the United States, one title is not going to do the trick, but Unspeakable is a solid, no-nonsense beginning. There are a number of excellent books about slavery and the Civil War, but we are only beginning to see children's books about the violence used to limit Black political and economic progress since Reconstruction.
Family Read Aloud Time
Unspeakable is a hard book to read to your children. But you must. Of course, you will know when they are ready to wrestle with this material. When they are, do your homework before you read together and plan how you will answer some difficult questions which will most certainly follow.
Learning at Home
The Tulsa Historical Society and Museum has a substantial and significant digital Exhibit about the attack on the Greenwood District. There are numerous resources available if you would like additional support in discussing race, racism, social justice and inclusion, but a good place to start is with Talking About Race, National Museum of African American History & Culture.
While focusing on Black History for one month of the school year is good, best practices in the classroom require the integration of black and brown history and voices throughout your curricula. Learning for Justice offers online professional development and classroom resources to support you in the work.
The Stories Matter
Disclaimer: Most of the books reviewed can be found at your public library or purchased through your local bookstore.
I am affiliate of Bookstore.org and will earn a commission if you click through the links and make a purchase from the Stories Matter storefront.
But, really, VISIT YOUR LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARY!