Authors Cheryl Willis Hudson and Wade Hudson take every African American family with children for a candid conversation called The Talk. Get real talk about racial issues impacting youth, sex, love and other conversations within the Black community. Over 10 authors share their views on these topics and more centered around what it means to be Black and Brown within a global society. Charles Collectibles and Books rates The Talk 4.5 out of 5 stars. It’s a must read for all families especially African American and those of African descent
Nicole Hannah-Jones and Reneé Watson with illustrator
Nikkolas Smith introduce their groundbreaking children’s
companion book The 1619 Project Born on the Water. It’s a
review of 400 years of African American history through the
eyes of a grandmother to her granddaughter after a class
assignment. Travel back to 1619 when a group of freed African
people were captured and shipped to an unknown world by the
Portuguese and other Europeans. Longing for their native land,
they brought seeds, songs from their villages, pride and
language. A new group of people were born on the water.
Forced to adapt to a new world and enslaved to work for free
with no rights as a citizen in America. Determined to thrive as a
race, African Americans took the harshest conditions of inferior
housing, education, food and access to quality healthcare in this
new world known as the United States, yet have achieved and
made contributions to better this country. The illustrated
images by Nikkolas Smith transport the reader to a time of
happiness, despair and pride in overcoming adversity. Charles
Collectibles and Books gives The 1619 Project Born on the
Water 5 out of 5 stars and describes it as a must read for
anyone wishing to learn the Black experience in American
Author Dapo Adeola, along with a host of illustrators who have
contributed positive scenes via bold and vibrant pictures, has
created one of the most celebrated books for Black boys and
girls in several decades: Hey You!. Hey You! is an empowering
book celebrating growing up Black. From birth to adulthood,
Black princes and princesses will become the kings and queens
of the future. Charles Collectibles and Books rates Hey You! 5
out of 5 stars and is a must for young parents.
Make Good The Promises: Reclaiming Reconstruction and Its Legacies is a collaborative hardcover book published by the National Museum of African American History and Culture in conjunction with the Smithsonian. Read how our ancestors learned to transform what little they had after being enslaved to being strong independent people determined to succeed despite obstacles by White America. Among the myriad of topics explored in the book, readers can gain insight into the particular experiences of Black women during the time. While Black women didn’t have the right to vote or own land, they were still instrumental in helping their male counterparts educate the youth and raise productive citizens. Charles Collectibles and Books rates Make Good The Promises 4.5 out of 5 stars. This book is ideal for history lovers and African American culture.
Author Charles R. Smith Jr. and illustrator Shane W. Evans provide a detailed look at historical moments in African American History. People of all ages need to know the contributions that African Americans have made to form this unperfect union called the United States. While all of these
trailblazing pioneers were seen not as citizens of the United States, they gave their lives, heart and being to strengthen this country. Read about Crispus Attucks, Harriett Tubman, Jessie Owens, Rosa Parks and others who paved the way for many of today’s inventions, policies and leaders. Charles Collectibles and Books rates 28 Days 5 out of 5 stars. This is a must read for
people of all ages and nationalities.
Author and illustrator Vanessa Brantley-Newton takes readers
into her childhood with Becoming Vanessa. This
autobiographical children’s book examines the power of a name
and how it can influence a young person and determine their
future. Brantley-Newton is one of several female illustrators
painting a positive image for and about young African American
girls. Charles Collectibles and Books rates Becoming Vanessa 5
out of 5 stars for providing inclusion and setting an example as a
positive role model for future authors and illustrators of color.
Author A.J. Baime shares the untold story of Walter F. White in
White Lies. Born Black, Walter F. White was extremely fair
skinned and passed as white in the Deep South. As a journalist
he would often travel to the Deep South to learn and report on
racist activities and injustices against black people–even
lynching. As a member of the NAACP, he became president of
the organization in its early years. Read about how this double
life of a Black man traveling amongst white circles made a
difference in bettering Black America. Charles Collectibles and
Books rates White Lies 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Author and former MSNBC weekend newscaster Tiffany D. Cross, in her book Say It Louder!, examines black voters, white narratives, and saving our democracy. She examines the role African Americans played in shaping the voting landscape of
American politics in local, state and national races in the 2018 midterm elections. Black Americans placed many democratic lawmakers into office at local, state and federal levels. Tiffany also views the strategy some white people and other groups are using to suppress the Black vote in current elections. Charles Collectibles and Books rates Say It Louder! 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Author Tanitoluwa Adewumi brings us a story of Tani who is a refugee from another country who hopes to fit in. In Tani's New Home, this talented 8-year-old discovers his passion for chess. He joins his school's chess team and qualifies for the state chess tournament. This homeless youth achieves his goal of becoming a New York State chess champion. Charles Collectibles and Books rates Tani's New Home 5 out of 5 stars.
Author and illustrator Vashti Harrison has written two books highlighting the accomplishments of African American Women in Little Leaders and African American Men in Little Legends. Vashti explores the rich history of these trailblazing men and women who made inventions, political inroads, and paved the way for civil rights across the United States and the world. In Little Leaders readers learn about Mae Jemison, the first African American Women in Space, Bessie Coleman, who was an African American Female aviator, and Ida B. Wells, who was a civil rights activist for women’s rights and the black community. In Little Legends, Vashti highlights the exceptional accomplishments of African American men in history. From Congressman John Lewis trailblazing civil rights pioneer, to Arthur Ashe world champion tennis player and human rights activist. Vashti uplifts and educates people of all ages. Charles Collectibles and Books rates both Little Leaders and Little Legends 5 out of 5 stars.
There are many new unapologetically frank and real African American authors like Nic Stone, Jason Reynolds, Angie Thomas and others. Add Morgan Parker to that incredible list of authors for young adult readers. Her debut novel for teens, Who Put This Song On?, is loosely based on her experiences as a teen
herself. Morgan Parker’s main character who is also named Morgan grew up in small town suburbia and is often the only African American girl in her class. She struggles to find her place as a 17-year-old young adult. Charles Collectibles and Books rates Who Put This Song On? 4.5 out of 5 stars.
First time author Madison Moore and illustrator Lonnie Ollivierre honor the trailblazing pioneers of the Black Fives Basketball Era who paved the way for today’s NBA superstars. Past and present players like Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and LeBron James would not exist if not for Cumberland Posey and Puggy Bell. At a time when basketball was segregated, African Americans played in ballrooms before dances and at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and private clubs. Ollivierre’s illustrations brings the athletes and uniforms of the Black Fives Era to light. In More Than Just A Game, Ms. Moore shares the two men who paved the way for an NBA which comprises 75 percent black and brown players across the league. Edwin Henderson, the father of Black Basketball taught his students the game of basketball including Cumberland Posey who was a multi-sport athlete and later owner of the Negro Baseball Leagues Homestead Grays. Black Fives Era players like Puggy Bell revolutionized how the game of basketball was played as he was a multi time champion with the Harlem Rens. Charles Collectibles and Books rates More Than Just A Game, the black origins of basketball 4.5 out of 5 stars. For more information on the origins of the Black Fives Era visit The Black Fives Foundation to learn more about the men and women who changed basketball as we know it.
Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero by Kelly J. Baptist - Isaiah has recently lost his dad and becomes the man of the house. This ten-year-old boy has a secret, he is a superhero. Deriving his powers from beans and rice allows Isaiah to solve insurmountable issues. Author Kelly J. Baptist, an Elementary School Educator in Southwest Michigan strives to create innovative and creative stories to spotlight African American boys in a positive light. If you’re looking for an interesting book, Charles Collectibles and Books rates Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero 4.5 out of five stars.
Today we are encouraging our audience to read the five-volume set In Their Own Voices – First-Hand Histories of Formerly Enslaved People. Featured are the works of Solomon Northup - Twelve Years A Slave; Frederick Douglas – The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas; William Still – The Underground Railroad; Booker T. Washington – Up From Slavery; and Harriet Jacobs – Incidents In The Life of A Slave Girl. Take an opportunity to learn real American History directly from those impacted by social injustice, racism, bigotry, and sexism from formerly enslaved pioneers determined to succeed, despite any obstacles placed in their way. Charles Collectibles and Books rates this collection of works five out of five stars.
My Daddy Rules the World by author Hope Anita Smith is a wonderful and inspiring collection of poems saluting African American Dads. She examines situations of Black men showing strength and courage. Smith covers topics such as haircuts, riding your bike, wrestling, and more from a male perspective. This is an uplifting book designed for first to third grade children but would be enjoyed by all who pick it up. If you’re looking for a positive book for African American boys, this book is for you!!! Charles Collectibles and Books rates My Daddy Rules the World five out of five stars.
Dr. Sharie Coombes tackles the subjects of new siblings, how to overcome your child’s jealous nature and how to calm their fears. Noah is used to having Mom’s full attention but soon, with the birth of his baby brother, he’s concerned that Mom will no longer have special time for him. Being used to Mom playing knights and horses as well as reading bedtime stories, Noah fears no longer being the center of his Mom’s attention because of the new baby. Mom balances her love for both her son’s. This well illustrated book shows the love Mom has for Noah and her new son. Dr. Coombes shares some important advice on dealing with sibling concerns and more. If you know a parent with existing kids and a new baby on the way or having just arrived, please consider this book for them.
As we approach the 2nd Annual Juneteenth National Holiday, I wanted to review a children’s book that is a good explanation for the reason we celebrate Juneteenth as a National Holiday. Under The Freedom Tree by author Susan VanHecke and illustrated by London Ladd is the true story of three slaves’ determination to surrender to Union soldiers in Hampton Roads Virginia, which would take them from being indentured slaves to free men. Known as the Emancipation Tree, hundreds of slaves came from all over to seek freedom. Slabtown, a temporary city now known as Hampton Roads, was created and allowed these now free men, women and children to learn that no person would ever own them as property again. While the United States freed slaves in 1863, slaves and other indentured groups in Texas didn’t find out that the Union troops defeated the confederate states, which should have allowed freedom to everyone. On June 19, 1865, word spread to slaves in Galveston Texas that they were now free. This book sets the stage for parents, teachers and historians to educate generations about America’s true past. This book is ideal for 4th grade and up conversations about history.
TAnother great book for teens is You Don’t Even Know Me by author Sharon G. Flake. She has compiled a book of poems and true short stories about Africa-American teen boys. In a time when young boys are seen as grown adults by many outside of the black community, the reality is that they are someone’s son, brother, or classmate. While the world measures these young boys by their height, facial hair and deep voice, they’re still teens and young adults and should not be judged by physical appearances. See how these young black teens navigate critical subjects like being a teen father, personal family secrets, teen jocks or being a misunderstood youth by police and the justice system. This book is ideal for youth from the 5th grade and up.
Jayla Jumps In by author, University of Detroit graduate, and now Washington D.C. educator Joy Jones shares the exciting story of generational love for the sport of Double Dutch. This true story of a District of Columbia jump rope team unites a community while bringing a young teen closer to her allying mother. If you’re looking for an exciting and inspiring book for teens, this book is for you. During a recent trip back to my hometown of Washington, D.C. I visited the main branch of the District of Columbia Library where I spent many of days in my youth studying and working on projects. To my amazement, the fourth floor of The Martin Luther King Jr. Library was an exhibit with the actual jump rope used in several competitions. As a native Washingtonian and now transplant to Metropolitan Detroit, two cities which are dear to my heart, I rate Jayla Jumps In 5 out of 5 stars. This book fully tells the story of inner-city life and its challenges and triumphs of African-American life for young and old alike and what bends communities.
This May in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we are spotlighting Booker T. Washington’s Fifty Cents and A Dream. This pioneering trailblazer sought to teach negro men and women reading and writing in a formal setting which became the Tuskegee Institute. Author Jabari Asim examines the early years which formed the opinion and mindset of this future educator. Young Booker T’s determination to educate others who look like him while growing up in Virginia cultivated a dream resulting in him acquiring land in Alabama and creating the Tuskegee Institute. Charles Collectibles and Books LLC highly rates this book for young readers 5 out of 5 stars. Bryan Collier’s illustrations are vivid and the verbiage is ideal for early childhood readers. This is an inspiring storybook that fosters the next generation of African American leaders.
Little Legends Exceptional Men In Black History by author Vashti Harrison is a refreshing look for young and old alike at trailblazing African American male pioneers. At a time in history when black men are illustrated or written about as slaves or uneducated men, Vashti reminds America and the world of 36 men who changed the world as we know it. Read about such men as Benjamin Banneker, Dr. Charles R. Drew, Arthur Ashe, Chuck D, Lonnie Johnson, and others. From surveying land, activism, Inventions, and pioneering medical procedures and other fields of study, black men have always led by example often failing to receive recognition. If you are looking to inspire a young person or learn something new yourself, this book is for you. Charles Collectibles and Books LLC rates this outstanding book 5 out of 5 stars.
Life After Death by acclaimed Urban Fiction Author Sista Souljah is the sequel to the award-winning bestseller The Coldest Winter Ever. Winter is released from prison and wants to reclaim her father’s empire and seek revenge against those who wronged her. This is a first edition hardcover copy autographed by Sista Souljah and includes a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) by Premiere Collectibles. Fans of this great author will enjoy this new release. Charles Collectibles and Books LLC rates Life After Death 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Spring is here and summer is around the corner. Chef Ayesha Curry has put together some delicious and easy to make recipes in her cookbook Full Plate. See mouthwatering dishes like New Orleans Seafood Boil, scrumptious Burgers and fries and great pasta dishes. This first edition hardcover is signed by Ayesha and is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity COA and would be a welcome gift for a budding Chef. Enjoy making these meals with your family. Charles Collectibles and Books LLC rates this cookbook 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Hairstyles for Me authored by Kathryn Diane Grace, a retired educator who was inspired by her daughter Regina. Wanting to
boost her daughter’s self-esteem and pride in herself, Mrs.
Grace felt a void of positive representation in books for African
American girls. Attending integrated schools, her daughter had
few, if any, images that reflected African American beauty and
hairstyles for young black girls - dating back to African Queens
and Princesses. This lack of representation was clear in her
small Texas town, seeing few African Americans or people’s hair
textures who looked like hers. Regina is tender-headed, and
her mother ensures her that getting her hair done will not hurt.
If you have experienced this with your daughter or family
member, you know the trauma it can have psychologically on a
young girl. Charles Collectibles and Books rates Hairstyles for
Me 4.5 stars out of 5 stars.
DK Publishing authorized Ebony Joy Wilkins an opportunity to
write an autobiography on Katherine Johnson, America’s first
African American NASA Mathematician. Mrs. Johnson’s
mathematical calculations were responsible for John Glenn’s
return from Space. As a high school graduate at the age of 14,
Katherine Coleman would enroll in West Virginia
University, an HBCU. Upon graduating from college, she became a
teacher and later transitioned to NASA. Ebony Joy Wilkins has
done an excellent job in words and pictures of this trailblazing
pioneer of Math and Science. Her commitment to the field of STEM has opened the door for thousands of young African
American Women interested in Science and Math. Charles
Collectibles and Books rates DK Life Stories: Katherine Johnson 5
out of 5 stars. This inspiring story will hopefully encourage
future young girls of color to explore career fields in STEM.
For Women’s History Month and Children’s Reading Month, I
decided to highlight a favorite author of mine: Jacqueline
For more than 20 years, this thought-provoking and acclaimed
author has thrilled audiences young and old alike with real life
topics that reflect black and brown communities of color.
Whether dealing with no longer being the only child in Pecan
Pie Baby or having a loved one in jail in Visiting Day; Woodman
reaches everyday people with her characters who resemble
ordinary black and brown folks like me and you!
Woodson’s works have been translated into multiple languages
throughout the world introducing this black woman author to
millions of readers worldwide. Her protagonist reflects teenage
and young adults’ lives with subject matter like teen pregnancy,
death of a child by the police, interracial dating, mental illness
and teen suicide among many of her book titles. If you haven’t
had the opportunity to read any of Jacqueline Woodson’s
works, add them to your reading list.
Award winning author Carole Boston Weatherford explores the troubled and complicated story of Eleanora Fagan, better known to most people as Billie Holiday. Becoming Billie Holliday is a collection of poems and songs examining the music of this legendary artist in pictures and words. Illustrator Floyd Cooper has added world class illustrations of that era. While this book is geared toward young readers, it opens a candid and frank discussion of civil rights, segregation, racism and other challenging topics for middle school and high school students. Those issues that our ancestors faced during their lives continue to exist today and the book serves as a blueprint for change. The book also highlights the importance of examining the past in order to navigate the future.
Comedian and social media sensation-via-YouTube, Franchesca Ramsey, became an accidental activist. Her debut book Well That Escalated Quickly examines the life of this rising star in comedy, political activism and the Black Lives Matter movement. She discusses her experiences in school, work and other areas, imparting the wisdom she’s learned along the way. This book is a fun yet quirky memoir about the zig-zag of a life’s path. Franchesca is your sister, your coworker and the girl next door trying to navigate life without allowing racist and misogynistic actions to affect her and others. Her desire to speak candidly and honestly while speaking up for others turns her into this accidental activist.
Ibram X. Kendi, author of Antiracist Baby, provides a nine-point plan for parents, teachers and other adults to prevent teaching negative, learned racist behavior to children. Some of the principles outlined in the book include: showing love for all children and not seeing people by color. While this is a children’s board book, the subject matter is designed and geared toward first and second grade students. If you are looking for a children’s book on equity and inclusion, Charles Collectibles and Books highly recommends this book.
Noted African American historian and author Herb Boyd has written multiple books on African American Culture. Today, we examine one of his earlier works Civil Rights Yesterday & Today. This hardcover book chronicles the Civil Rights Movement from the 19th century through the mid 2010 ear when America nominated and elected its first African American President Barack Obama. He writes about African American pioneers such as Nat Turner, A. Phillip Randolph, James Farmer, Ida B. Wells, Fannie Lou Hamer, Bayard Rustin, Barbara Jordan, John Lewis and Jessie Jackson. This book is ideal if you are explaining African American History to an audience under 30 years old. While Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a major focal point of the Civil Rights Movement, it didn’t start with Dr. King, nor will it end with him. Its been said that those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it. Take time to educate a young person about those ancestors who served as trailblazers for today’s and tomorrow’s future leaders. Charles Collectibles and Books rates this book 5 out of 5 stars.
With A Voice Like That by author Chris Barton and illustrated by Ekua Holmes tells the story of legendary pioneer Barbara Jordan. Barbara Jordan was the first African American Woman to represent the City of Houston, Texas as their congressional representative in the United States of Congress. This former educator lead by example encouraging others to fight for the poor and working-class residents of Harris County. At that time, Ms. Jordan was only one of a handful of African American Women in the United States Congress. If you have a young activist in your household than this African American children’s book is for them. Not only is it inspiring, Ekua Holmes has done Barbara Jordan honor and justice with her vivid illustrations of this civil rights trailblazer and pioneer of history. Charles Collectibles and Books rates this book 4.5 out of 5.00 stars. This book is ideal for readers first through third grade.
Our final book review for January is Gordan Parks How the Photograph Captured Black and White America by author Carole Boston Weatherford. Gordan Parks is a legendary photographer who viewed African American life through the lines of a camera. This illustrated children’s book by Carole Boston Weatherford examines Mr. Parks early years. It’s a great book for young and adult fans of Gordan Parks. As a trailblazer, Mr. Parks photographed black people in everyday life through the lines of his camera bringing honor, pride, sadness and love to African Americans. This is a great inspirational book for African American children from the first grade to third grade. Charles Collectibles and Books rates this book 5 out of 5 stars. Enjoy the book and inspire the future photographer in your home or classroom.