Hi there, Rabbit Run!
Hope everyone is enjoying this warm weather! During February we have been learning about Black History Month through changemakers like Dr. Mae Jemison (astronaut), Augustus Jackson ("Father of Ice Cream"), Garrett Morgan (inventor of the stoplight), Ella Jenkins (musician who we LOVE), and Christian Robinson (author/illustrator who we LOVE)! We still have some more changemakers to learn about, including Oge Mora (a favorite author/illustrator), the Williams Sisters (tennis!), Bessie Coleman (pilot), Barack Obama (president), and more! At this age/developmental stage, we do not bring conversations about oppression or violence or racism, but rather center the conversation around Black Joy! And, of course, we don't limit it to February, although we do spotlight BHM in February.
As you know from our ancestor map project earlier in the year, the way we talk about skin color in our classroom is through the three factors that determine our skin color (melanin, the sun, and our ancestors). We know that no one's skin is actually black or white but rather many different shades of brown. We discuss how we use the word Black to describe people who were born in Africa, or whose ancestors (parents, grandparents, great-grandparents or further back) come from Africa. We include conversation about the equator, and the beautiful, deep shades of brown skin that people who live near the equator have, because they have lots of melanin to protect them in the hot, sunny climate.
I'm compiling some of our favorite music and books by Black musicians and authors to share with you. We listen to/read these throughout the year, and are some of our classroom favorites. Hope you enjoy!
BHM playlist:- Odetta – The Fox
- Nina Simone – Feeling Good, Good Bait
- John Coltrane – my favorite things
- Duke Ellington – In a Sentimental Mood
- Elizabeth Cotton – Shake Sugaree
- Mulatu Astatke – I Faram Gami I Faram
- Jon Batiste – Nocturne No 1 in D Minor
- Stevie wonder – Superstition
- Darondo – Didn’t I
- Ibeyi – River
- Sister Rosetta Tharpe – Didn’t it Rain?
- Billie Holiday – Blue Moon
- Leon Bridges – Coming Home
- Big Mama Thorton – Hound Dog
- Eartha Kitt – C’est Si Bon
- Ella Jenkins – Wade in the Water
BHM booklist:- Mae Among the Stars, Roda Ahmed
- The Day You Begin, Jacqueline Woodson
- My Princess Boy, Kilodavis, DeSimone
- Black is a Rainbow Color, Angela Joy, Ekua Holmes
- Thank You, Omu, Oge Mora
- Hair Love, Matthew A. Cherry
- Your Name is a Song, Jamilah Thompkins Bigelow
- Me and Mama, Cozbi A. Cabrera
- Red Shoes, Karen English
- I Am Every Good Thing, Derrick Barnes
- You Matter, Christian Robinson
- Mommy’s Khimar, Jamilah Thompkins Bigelow