Why We Chose this Book: MARL envisions a society where rights are lived but sometimes rights need to be lived before society and policy acknowledge them. The women celebrated in Little Leaders are heroes who lived their rights before their nation saw them as deserving of rights. MARL celebrates Black History Month by lifting up these living stories of rights by black women across history. We also chose this book because it shares the stories of black women heroes in history in a form that inspires children to live their rights and share these rights with others.
Summary: Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by artist and filmmaker Vashti Harrison compiles biographies of 40 extraordinary Black women leaders and pioneers and combines them with illustrations that children can relate to. Says Vashti Harrison about the women whose stories she tells in her book,
Immediately when doing the research for this book, I felt so connected to their stories of hard work, dedication, courage through adversity, love for craft, and love for family. I wanted to create a way for readers to feel that connection as well…I wanted young readers to feel like they could walk in their shoes, jump back in time to feel their experiences, and be able to see themselves in all of stories (Staggers, 2018).
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History brings diverse stories of Human Rights heroes such as Star Trek actor Michelle Nichols, abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, poet Phillis Wheatley, mathematician Katherine Johnson, and astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison to life; inviting children to imagine themselves following in the paths of these heroes.
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Check back in with us later in February for discussion questions and info on our first meeting.
What were some of the ways that the little leaders stood up for themselves and the people around them?
What are some ways that you stand up for yourself and the people around you?