Written By: Kenrya Rankin
For Ages: 8 years and up
Topics Covered: History, Historical Figures, Racism, Quotes, Compilation.
Summary: For #sweetsandsocialjustice this week, I’m focusing on something that I think is beginning to fall by the wayside. Not for everyone (certainly not for us) but for a lot of people that made a commitment to change back in June. Anti-racist education is a lifestyle, a radical change from what if shielded from a lot of us with white privilege. We are never finished on this journey, learning and practicing anti-racism is crucial for the destruction of white supremacy and the systemic oppression built into our societal institutions.
This brilliant book is a collection of quotes and photos of activists dedicated to anti-racism. These powerful words and figures will make the reader stop and consider their own lives and the causes that they dedicate themselves to. Author Kenrya Rankin has included celebrity voices like Laverne Cox, well-known authors like James Baldwin and Frederick Douglass, and authorities like Ibram X. Kendi, AOC, and Ta-Nehisi Coates.
In the back are short biographies of the activists quoted, which I was delighted to find. I can see this book being used in classrooms as a way to start discussions, history projects, or writing prompts. A few weeks ago during a conversation with Kwame Alexander, we talked about how if we teach the younger generations well-enough, there won’t be a need for social justice education, it will just be education. That’s the power of books like this, it can help to create a world where we won’t need to designate that accurate histories and equitable legislation is social justice, it’s just how things will be.
This book was kindly sent by Sasquatch Books, but all opinions are my own.
Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Kenrya learned early how White supremacy and its attendant -isms impact the lives of those pushed to the margins, including people of color, women and femmes, folks living with disabilities and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
She is most drawn to work that centers POC and doesn’t require begging for their humanity, which was the driving force during her tenure as senior editorial director at Colorlines.
As a journalist and editor, her work has appeared in dozens of national publications—including Fast Company, Ebony and Glamour — and has been translated into 21 languages.
She writes about everything from literature to technology, but her heart lies with racial justice, identity and parenting. So it’s fitting that she is the founder and editorial director of parenting blog BlackAndGreenMama.com and is a birth and postpartum doula. She also sits on the board of Parent Teacher Home Visits.
Kenrya’s advocacy and projects have been covered by several outlets, including Essence, Good Morning Washington, The Tavis Smiley Show, Ebony, The Root, Clutch, Red Tricycle, NewsOne Now and BET.com.