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  • Manth Olric

Celebrating Black Children's Book Week: A Journey Through Literature

Updated: Jan 11

"Black Children's Book Week is an international observance that honors the narratives of Black children and the creators who guarantee their presence in literature and children's media. This distinctive week-long event, held in the midst of Black History Month, celebrates the profound contributions and talents of Black authors and illustrators, which are often overshadowed in mainstream literature. In the past couple of years, the Illinois-based Springfield Chapter of Black Lives Matter has distributed approximately 300 to 400 books within the Springfield community.

We were inspired to host an event for Black Children's Book Week three years ago after learning about its upcoming launch by Veronica N. Chapman founder of Black Baby Books.

said Sunshine Clemons Co-Founder/Co-President of The Springfield Chapter of Black Lives Matter to our editor. Essentially, Black Children's Book Week serves as a critical vehicle for bridging racial disparities in children's literature, encouraging a wider appreciation and understanding for these significant works. With a focus on presenting accurate portrayals of the life and culture of Black children, it fosters inclusivity and diverse reading habits.

The mission of Black Children's Book Week is directly in line with our work and a great opportunity to distribute free books to the community. This is our 3rd year celebrating and we are looking forward to many more!

added Sunshine Clemons Co-Founder/Co-President of The Springfield Chapter of Black Lives Matter.

Sadly, the quest for a broad representation of racial and cultural diversity in children's literature is a struggle we continue to grapple with even today. The heart of this issue lies in the reality that children from diverse races often don't find characters in books who mirror their appearances or life experiences. This absence can impact their sense of identity and belonging. Research confirms that interacting with diverse literature not only promotes self-acceptance but also helps nurture empathy and a comprehensive understanding of various races, cultures, and backgrounds. In this context, the significance of observances like Black Children's Book Week becomes clear. Such events make a determined effort to thrust the necessity of greater diversity in children's literature into the limelight, ensuring that all children can see themselves reflected in the stories they read.

"Our local annual celebration is Black Lives Matter SPI's way to recognize both Black History Month, when people often take more interest in learning our history, and the need for more diverse literature. We know that representation matters and see this as an opportunity to ensure Black children see themselves and have access to diverse literature. "

says Sunshine Clemons Co-Founder/Co-President of The Springfield Chapter of Black Lives Matter.

How to support The Springfield Chapter of Black Lives Matter in Illinois its Black Children's Book Week.

Children Grabbing Books at a BLM SPI's Black Children Book's Week

Click Here to donate books to BLM SPI Chapter from its Amazon wishlist. They are mailed directly to them. You can reach out to their staff on social media Facebook/Instagram , by email at , or at

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