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Showing posts from August, 2019

Florida Department of Education, We've Got a Situation... by Alexis, 19

On August 14, the Florida Department of Education tweeted:

Here is a link to the list. You will see that it is made up almost entirely of White English/American "classics." These books are considered the great books of children's literature by many people. A good number of these books contain extreme racist and anti-Native content (ex. A Child's Garden of Verses, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Little House in the Big Woods)and/orableism (ex. The Secret Garden, Treasure Island).

                                                      The ugliness...I can't even
The list includes a few cis gay male icons, like Walt Whitman, but not because of their queer work. We recognize Langston Hughes was guarded about his queerness, because of his blackness, the time he lived and personal choice, but the recommended book The Weary Blues includes the following poem. (It may be the most subversive thing on the list!)
Before I talk about reactions to the list--many of which I found i…

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese--a group review

We sat together and read this as a group. Alexis, 19 and Charlie, 16 took turns reading it out loud. Ashleigh, 13 and Michael, 17 listened and we all stopped to go over things. We rarely agree on everything, but all voices were heard and respected.

Ashleigh: When I first picked up the book, I didn't know what I was looking at. Then I realized that the words "An Indigenous Peoples'" are over the sky and "History of the United States" are over the land that has the American flag spray painted on it or creeping on it like a shadow.
Alexis: It's striking! Of course, it's the same cover as the previous adult version by Roxanne Dunbar Ortz, which it should be said none of us have read.

Charlie: This version is much more friendly for us--I mean, it was written for our ages.

Alexis: Yes! Where do you think the book would start in history? I had an interesting reaction to that.

Ashleigh: Yeah, we talked about that. How many of us just assumed it would sta…