February is Black History Month! This tradition began in 1926 in America it was started as Negro History Week and was founded by Carter G. Woodson. The week developed into a month long recognition and in 1976 it was reinvented as Black History Month. This is a time to focus on the contributions, inventions, and efforts that have been lead by people of African-American Descent. Black Americans have contributed in great ways to our world but unfortunately because of historical and traumatic obstacles like slavery, Jim Crow, and other oppressive measures, many people have not been acknowledged for their work or they have had others take credit for it. As authors and illustrators, how can we make a difference in 2022? We can collectively make a difference by reading books by Black writers and illustrators and buying them for educators, students, and families. We can donate these works to local libraries and organizations to make sure that they get more eyes on them to be seen and more ears on them to be heard. It is a great idea to think of Black authors and illustrators when seeking out author visit rosters and making sure that paid events are offered to those that are highlighting diversity in kid lit. Take a survey of your personal library...do you have children's books that have Black people as main characters? If so...add to those or review them...if not get started diversifying your collections. What creative ways can you make sure that this segment of Americans is highlighted and featured in your daily life? What more would you like to learn? What more would you like to do? Share it with us! We can inspire each other as we continue to be inspired by Black Americans from our past, present and those who we write and draw for...the future.
Monday, January 31, 2022
Black History: A Celebration of Americans by Tara Michener
Tara Michener is the author of six children's books that focus on self-esteem, diversity and anti-bullying. She is a TEDx speaker, therapist and owns her own private practice in Novi, MI. Tara has been recognized in publications such as Prevention Magazine, Essence Magazine, FREEP and more! She is the Committee Chair of E&I at SCBWI-MI. Her favorite days usually include spending time with her hubistrator, Jason, her son Cannon and her favorite snack Twizzlers and Diet Coke. You can follow her on Twitter @Taramichener.