To Black Parents Visiting Earth: Letter #2 (#WeHaveDiverseBooks)

In line with the book review I posted yesterday, I thought this piece by my wife (Janet Mendoza-Stickmon) over at Mutha Magazine would be the perfect companion.

As parents of color, especially Nerdy Parents of Color, it is so difficult to find books that reflect our children’s racial and cultural backgrounds, as well as other aspects of their social realities. Please read this, as well as Letter #1, to see some of the strategies we’ve taken to address this and other issues affecting our Children of Color.

“Long before those early months of motherhood, when I was trying to figure out how to nurse Baby Girl, how to change her diaper, how to swaddle her, and how to get the child to nap in her crib, I knew she needed to be inoculated against the self-hatred that might potentially plague her.


So before my husband and I even chose her name, the inoculation started when we decided to buy her African and African American children’s books. I was 11 weeks pregnant when I began our collection with a handful of books from Ashay by the Bay owned by vendor Deborah Day at the Ashby Flea Market in Berkeley. By the time Baby Girl was born, our collection included books like Shades of Black — A Celebration of Our Children, I Like Myself, Please, Baby, Please, and Book of Black Heroes: Scientists, Healers and Inventors. These were among several books we read to her while she was still in the womb…”

Please read the rest here.