The Lit Bit Celebrates Women’s History Month
by Charisse Carney-Nunes
Published: Thursday, March 1, 2012

Welcome to Women’s History Month! So often we African Americans complain that the preceding month of February, Black History Month, is the shortest month of the year. That may be, but I love this time of year since it gives me an annual excuse to celebrate Black women in history for both February and March. Yes, I know Black History and women should be celebrated 365, but historical markers created to celebrate special people are just the American way.

The 2012 National Women’s History Month Theme is ‘Women’s Education — Women’s Empowerment.’ This year, I am lifting up the African-American women on whom I focused in my children’s book, Nappy. Each week, I will share a list of 5 books you can read to educate your selves about these empowering women in our history. I will also share a one-minute video — a Nappy Narrative — with a few quick and interesting facts about my “Nappy Ladies.”

This week’s Nappy Narrative highlights Rosa Parks:

As human beings, it’s easy to take each other for granted. Whether it’s your spouse, your parent, a family member or life-long friend, when we think we know everything about someone, or think they’ll always be there, it’s almost inevitable that we under-appreciate them.

This is certainly true of Rosa Louise McCauley Parks. Too often, America wants to remember Parks as a tired, old woman who didn’t want to give up her seat on the bus. The truth is she was actually a seasoned anti-rape crusader investigating the sexual assaults of Black women across the Jim Crow south that too-often went unpunished and untold. One of the victims Rosa helped, Recy Taylor, only last year received an apology from the Alabama Legislature for her brutal, unpunished assault in 1944. She was 91. The impact of Rosa Parks’ life and humanitarian actions is still felt to this day.

I’ll leave you this week with five inspiring books about Rosa Parks.

  1. Who Was Rosa Parks? Who Was Rosa Parks? by Yona Zeldis McDonough
  2. Rosa Parks: My Story by Rosa Parks and Jim Haskins
  3. Rosa Parks: A Biography (Greenwood Biographies) by Joyce A. Hanson
  4. At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance—A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power by Danielle L. McGuire
  5. How Long? How Long?: African-American Women in the Struggle for Civil Rights by Belinda Robnett.
Keep those pages turning,


Nappy Narratives for Women's History Month 2012 Include:

Sojourner Truth - Rosa Parks - Week 3 (3/20)- Week 4 (3/27) - Week 5 (4/3)

Charisse Carney-NunesCharisse Carney-Nunes is the award-winning author of several children’s books including, I Am Barack Obama, I Dream For You A World, and Nappy. She is also a literary advocate, and the Executive Producer of The Book Look a webseries airing here on

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