Hayes African American Read-In - National Council of Teachers of English

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Hayes African American Read-In

February 27, 2023

For seven school periods we read two picture books: Black Boy, Black Boy: Celebrate the Power of You by Ali Kamanda, Jorge Redmond and Illustrations by Ken Daley and Black is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy, Illustrated by Ekua Holmes.  Students reflected on a notecard their favorite words and images from the book.  Then we played a Kahoot featuring black YA authors and the books they had written.  Finally students reflected over what they learned and what books they might want to read.

During one period, authors Ali Kamanda and Jorge Redmond actually virtually spoke to our students! They had powerful messages about dreaming big and recognizing one’s own power and celebrating professions for students, especially black males, that were not “ballers and rappers.”  Ali talked about how he was from Sierra Leone and created a non-profit, Salone Rising, that provides micro-financing and mentoring resources to small business owners in his native country while Jorge Redmond is an assistant district attorney and adjunct professor.  It was the highlight of our day!

Students noted that they enjoyed learning about new black authors and understanding how and why pictures books are created.  They even did a little drawing of their own!


February 27, 2023
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