In a city as diverse as Oakland, we know how critical it is to read and celebrate books by and about people of color. Books are both windows and mirrors for students, allowing them a way to experience new things, people, and places; as well as a way to see themselves and their communities reflected back to them.
While February is Black History Month, we believe literature should always be both a reflection of and window into our city, year round! We were thrilled to partner with the Oakland Public Education Fund for their African American History Month Read-In last week, and participated by reading aloud to students at Korematsu and Greenleaf. Read-ins not only promote reading, but also a chance for engagement with the literature and to cultivate conversations surrounding the book. Go to Oakland Public Education Fund to find out the next read-in date at your local elementary school.
We also curated a list of book guides which can be used at future read-in events, read aloud events, or anytime you’d like some support with any of these books. Check them out:
For grades K-2:
- Bippity Bop Barbershop by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, illustrated by E.B. Lewis
- My Hair is a Garden by Cozbi Cabrera
- We March by Shane W. Evans
- Freedom Soup by Tami Charles, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara
- Thank you, Omu! by One Mora
For grades K-5: