Resistance Stories from Black History for Kids: Inspiring People and Events That Every Kid Should Know
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Resistance Stories from Black History for Kids: Inspiring People and Events That Every Kid Should Know, by Rann Miller, provides middle grade readers with a more complete picture of Black history than what is typically taught in schools. Miller takes a global approach to telling lesser-known stories about lack resistance and liberation, defining terms along the way such as African diaspora, white privilege, social construct, critical race theory, and so forth. Themes of survival, perseverance, and resilience dominate, and messages of courage, love for self and community, and being proud of one's history are weaved throughout. Racial and sexual violence, including rape and lynching, are defined and discussed in non-graphic ways, but may still be intense for some readers. Parents may wish to read and discuss the book with their kids to help them explore thoughts and feelings about the harsh realities that inspired these resistance stories.
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What's the Story?
Resistance Stories from Black History for Kids is a deep dive into lesser-known facets of Black and African diasporic history. It begins with a primer on the Eurocentric focus of mapmaking and education that distort the size and importance of Africa. Miller goes on to share stories from advanced, ancient African civilizations, about the crushing violence of and resistance to slavery, and the radicalism of civil rights leaders. Miller shares new insights about well-known historical events and movements as well as subtler forms of resistance. For example, he tells the story of enslaved women who used cotton root to prevent pregnancy, denying slave masters profit they might have made selling their children. Short chapters lend themselves to reading and discussion. A glossary and chapter footnotes provide ample follow-up learning opportunities.
Is It Any Good?
This interesting, thought-provoking treasure trove of "missing pieces" of Black history will inspire readers of all ages. Resistance Stories from Black History for Kids is well-researched and may surprise even history buffs. Did you know that Africans arrived in the Americas before Columbus? Or that the free breakfast millions of schoolchildren eat everyday in the U.S. was inspired by a Black Panther program? Facts like these, tucked into author Rann Miller's short, accessible chapters make for a quick and absorbing read. Some parents may bristle at the clearly stated agenda of the author – to share a more authentic history than the watered-down, white-washed version of Black history taught in most schools. Others may be uncomfortable with the author's stories about armed rebellion and resistance, or that there's no mention of contributions Black queer folks made to freedom movements. This book is worth reading and discussing anyway, especially together. Most older kids are ready to learn about and grapple with hard historical realities and can evaluate the various approaches to fighting for freedom covered in this book. A great pick for history-obsessed readers or for anyone wanting to supplement their kids' knowledge of Black and world history.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the similarities and differences between Resistance Stories from Black History for Kids and the history lessons they've learned in school. What stories surprised you or were new to you? Did you learn more about any topics or people that you've heard about before?
This book covers terrible acts of violence and inhumanity against Black people, including enslavement, lynching, denial of the right to vote, and more. Is it OK for kids to learn about historical and current violence? Why or why not? When are kids "ready" to learn about these parts of our history?
What are some of the most memorable and inspiring stories in the book? How did historical figures in the book show courage and perseverance?
- Author: Rann Miller
- Genre: History
- Topics: Activism, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, History
- Character Strengths: Courage, Perseverance
- Book type: Non-Fiction
- Publisher: Bloom Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: March 7, 2023
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 200
- Available on: Paperback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: March 9, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
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Wonderful showcase of Black history for young readers.
In The Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives
Incredible history of people enslaved by Founding Fathers.
African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History
Illuminating profiles, vivid images reveal nuanced history.
For kids who love learning about Black history
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