We’re thrilled to share a guest post from Dr. Artika Tyner. Dr. Tyner is a passionate educator, award-winning author, a civil rights attorney, a sought-after speaker, and an advocate for justice. She is the founder of the Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute and an author of many incredible Lerner titles including books in the series The Fight for Black Rights and the biography Stacey Abrams: Champion of Democracy. Below, Dr. Tyner shares some details from her recent visit to Ghana.
Leaders are Readers. This statement represents the mission and vision of our nonprofit organization, Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute. We are committed to inspiring the next generation of leaders through the transformative power of reading. We achieve this goal by supporting schools and libraries, promoting literacy, donating diverse books, and hosting our annual youth leadership summit around the world.
In the series American Slavery and the Fight for Freedom, new in January 2022 from the Read Woke™ Books collection, readers are shown the history of slavery and its lasting legacy in the United States. Like all Read Woke™ Books, this six-book series was created in partnership with Cicely Lewis, the Read Woke librarian. In this post, see examples of the ways primary sources are utilized in the books (including audio clips you can preview yourself). Plus, keep reading to learn about the Read Woke™ teaching guide, available now to all educators.
The use of primary sources is a major part of the American Slavery and the Fight for Freedom series. These sources highlight the experiences of enslaved people and the lives of Black people beyond the aftermath of the Civil War (1861–1865). In each book, readers will find two voices quotes. In the example below from Resistance to Slavery: From Escape to Everyday Rebellion, the quote expands on the information given in this text by allowing readers to see an enslaved person’s reflection of their time in slavery.
When students learn about slavery in the United States, they often learn about the Underground Railroad and figures such as Harriet Tubman and Abraham Lincoln. But who and what are being left of these teachings? In the upcoming series American Slavery and the Fight for Freedom from Read Woke™ Books, readers will be introduced to events and figures that they may not be familiar with.
By Megan Ciskowski, Associate Publicist
In 2017 Cicely Lewis began developing a program called Read Woke that encouraged readers to explore books written by diverse voices and with diverse characters. Since that time the program has taken off and found great success with librarians across the United States. In 2020 Lewis won School Library Journal’s School Librarian of the Year for her ingenuity and resourcefulness.
This fall Lewis and Lerner Publishing Group partner up to create Read Woke Books™, a collection that seeks to challenge social norms, give voice to the silenced, provide information about groups that have been disenfranchised, disrupt the status quo, and share perspectives from underrepresented or oppressed groups. The first series, Issues in Action, is written by Cicely Lewis and Elliott Smith, an experienced freelance author in the Washington D.C. area. Read on to find series information, author interviews and more!
by Lois Wallentine, School & Library Marketing Director
Photo Credit: Nina Arroyo Santiago and Pen Faulkner Foundation
In mid-October, Lerner and SLJ hosted an enlightening #ReadWoke webinar with librarian, SLJ columnist, and #ReadWoke founder Cicely Lewis and three #OwnVoices authors: