85 years ago Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15th, and next month is black history month, so what better time to talk about children's books that address the Civil Rights Movement than now?
I have a 4 year old and a 3 year old, and I've been wondering how I can talk on their level of understanding, about this sordid part of our American History... and still do it justice. We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song was written by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton (just released last December), and it is a wonderful book. When I sat down and read the book with my daughter for the first time I totally choked up and had a hard time finishing it.
The book talks about the song We Shall Overcome (that you may identify with the 60's Civil Rights Movement) all the way from it's origins in the time of slavery up to modern day, and how the Civil Rights Movement has evolved.
This song has become a symbol of the fight for equality, and it is a perfect vehicle to help children understand the slow evolution of the rights that the black communities had to fight for. And Debbie Levy writes in such lyrical way that compliments the poetry of the song and Vanessa Brantley-Newton's whimsical, collage style is absolutely beautiful and lively. The writing and illustration compliment each other wonderfully and are so inspired. I am so glad I have this book in our own personal library. This is definitely the type of book for libraries, school teachers, and it's wonderful book to help parents to sit down and talk about civil rights to their children.
Are there any books that you'd recommend for Black History Month? How do you talk to your children about civil rights and other heavy subjects?