Teaching Cultural Compassion

September 19, 2020

In Memory of a "Notorious" Woman

On Friday, we lost a small of stature woman who was a giant of justice. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not only a Supreme Court Justice, but became a pop icon and inspiration to many people, especially women in the United States. Growing up in Brooklyn, being asked to work so that her younger brother could pay to go to college, fighting her own way through school, trying to work while raising a family, and eventually rising to the top of her field (just like she rose to the occasion for everything in her life), RBG's story is truly inspiring. There have been many books written about her (and even two recent movies). I would love to suggest my favorite two. I Dissent by Debbie Levy with awesome pictures by Elizabeth Baddely tells her whole story while Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of RBG vs. Inequality by Jonah Winter with fun pictures by Stacy Innerst focuses on her legal legacy. Both are excellent additions to your bookshelf and I highly recommend reading them over and over in her memory.

September 12, 2020

Lift Every Voice and Sing

If you are a football fan, you'll notice something different this week as football restarts. Instead of just the National Anthem before each game, if you tune in early enough, you'll also hear Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson commonly referred to as the Black National Anthem. If you have not heard this song or don't know its history, or even if you do, but want to discuss it better with your kids, I highly recommend Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice and Sing Inspired Generations by Kelly Starling Lyons and gorgeous illustrations by Keith Mallett. This 2019 book tells the story of the song from its origin in a small school to its use over multiple movements. I also have pictures above of three books that are simply the lyrics of the song with lovely pictures illustrated by Bryan Collier, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, and Elizabeth Catlett. For a little more about the song and more books, click here!

August 28, 2020

Ending Racism Suggestions

If you were able to join us for the National Council of Churches ACT to End Racism webinar last evening, you heard me recommend two specific books. (And if you were unable to attend but would like to catch up, click here to view on youtube.) The two books I suggested are books we've highlighted here before, one, just below, March by John Lewis et al and The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson. Usually I do not tell you where to buy books, but today, I've linked you directly to a black-woman-owned bookstore in Virginia. Books and Crannies in Martinsville, VA happens to have both in stock at the moment that I'm writing this (though volumes 2-3 of March are backordered almost everywhere, including there). I don't care if you don't buy from Books and Crannies, I'm getting no advertising credit from them, but please consider small businesses and especially black-owned bookstores when you are buying books.

In the coming weeks, I'm hoping to have more curated suggestion lists as well as curriculum and guides to connect secular books to a family's faith. If you'd like to hear more about all of that you can join my mailing list at the bottom of this page.

Please stay healthy and take care of yourselves in this troubling time,


July 20, 2020

Remembering Rep. John Lewis

This week, we lost the last of the Big Six of the Civil Rights movement. John Lewis was a man who always sought to speak out for others, even as a young child. In Jabari Asim's book Preaching to the Chickens (with lovely illustrations by EB Lewis), your kids can learn how even they can take a stand. They might not grow up to speak in front of lots of important people or see the kind of resistance Rep. Lewis saw, but they can speak up. If you also work with older kids and youth, I would highly recommend March, a series of graphic novels by the man himself. It will give them an inside look on what it was like to be there, in the middle of the movement when it was new.