Don't give just what everyone else does this year for birthdays or Christmas. Look for gifts with lasting value, gifts like African American books. Black books feed the mind and promote critical thinking no matter the age, gender, or ethnic background of the reader.
African American poems are powerful and generally emotional expressions of life. They encourage us to all envision ourselves as part of one human race, not different. This rich art form unites readers and writers, building bridges where sometimes there are walls. This is writing at its finest, providing enjoyment with learning in one seamless piece.
Whoever said provocative was a bad word? Whoever it was is mistaken. The ability to provoke when you are focusing on beliefs about 'just how things are' is what promotes change. You must provoke someone to consider the correctness of their opinions before they are willing to grow. That's just what African American poems do.
This art form encourages readers to look at life through the eyes of the oppressed, to consider experiences of love, of dealing with challenges, and all range of life experience through Black eyes. If you are an African American reader, they often feel comforting and show you that you are not alone. If you are not Black they often encourage you to see how much we are all alike rather than focus on differences.
Many African American children's books do the same thing, in a much gentler way. They lead young readers to see past the skin of their friends into their hearts.
Many kids' books follow a formula. The first one or two of these stories is interesting to the parent and the child, but quickly the repetitive nature of poorly crafted children's literature leads both to lose interest.
African American children's books are different. Coming from distinctive ethnic voices they engage the minds and the interests of young readers and you will find that no two are the same. If you are already a fan of African American books, be sure to feed the same passion for the young people in your life.