Cultural Curriculum Chat with Jebeh Edmunds

Season 4 Episode #28 2024 Book Club: Jebeh's Favorite Books of to get you ready for 2024

February 02, 2024 Jebeh Edmunds Season 4 Episode 28
Cultural Curriculum Chat with Jebeh Edmunds
Season 4 Episode #28 2024 Book Club: Jebeh's Favorite Books of to get you ready for 2024
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Embark on a literary journey that promises to enrich your soul and widen your world. I’m Jebeh Edmonds, and I’ve handpicked a collection of diverse reads that are more than just pages; they're portals to understanding the rich tapestry of human experience. From the inspiring tales of young activists in "Child of the Civil Rights Movement" to the gripping survival story in the "Breadwinner Trilogy," these books are curated to resonate with readers of all ages. Teens will find solidarity in "You Truly Assumed," while adults are invited to explore the depths of empathy with "Waging Peace: One Soldier's Story of Putting Love First." As we turn the page to a new year, these stories stand as beacons of light, guiding us toward a more inclusive and equitable world.

With heartfelt thanks, I share the excitement bubbling within our Culture Curriculum Chat community. Your support propels us into a year brimming with conversations that matter, seamlessly fitting into your daily routines. Stay connected and informed with our weekly newsletter, your compass for the enlightening interviews and dialogues ahead. As we reflect on the gratitude for past engagements, let's step together into a 2024 filled with promise and purpose, united in our quest for social justice, education, and a world where diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice are not just ideals, but realities we cultivate every day.

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Speaker 1:

Hello, friend, and welcome to my podcast. If you're new to the podcast, my name is Jebette Edmonds and I'm so glad you're here. As we wind down our year of 2023, I wanted to share with you my favorite diverse books that you need on your bookshelves in order to gear you up for the new year. I picked out a book for each category group that will help each person that fits that group. Or if you're trying to get a last-minute New Year's Eve gift for 2024, this book list is for you. In our upcoming season five, I will dive deeper into the not-so-new cog in the Diversity, equity, inclusion and Belonging acronym I'm going to add in justice. Yes, justice is also part of our DE&I initiatives. Most of my season five will be focused on social justice and education and clarity for your DEI and B-Action plans for your business. Now, the books that I have focused on for you today will cover all of these areas, and the categories that I have picked and will go over are as follows. We have Early Childhood two elementary school categories for lower elementary, like K through 2 space, and upper elementary 3 through 6. Then we will move on to Secondary. So that's all middle school and high school age group of kids. We have Adult Books for Adult Readers as well as Teacher Professional Development Book and a Workplace Development Book as well.

Speaker 1:

In Early Childhood I picked the book Child of the Civil Rights Movement written by Paula Young Shelton and illustrated by Raul Cologne. Now, paula Young Shelton was born in 1952 in Alabama. Her father was activist Andrew Young, who worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr, and he brought up his family alongside to join him on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement. So you get this perspective of a young civil rights activist in Paula and she takes you into the account of what she watched and listened as her family and thousands of others struggled for justice in the segregated city of Montgomery, and you will see her join that historic march in this book from Selma to Montgomery. It talks and illustrates for you readers of what she faced going home, her encounter at a restaurant with her family and what they could not do where a lot of us take for granted. It's a great introduction of the civil rights movement for our young readers.

Speaker 1:

In the lower elementary school section I decided to pick the book called Freedom School. Yes, it's written by Amy Little Sugar and illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Now this book talks about the resurgence of freedom schools, and this was a movement by our nonviolent activists in the 1960s in Mississippi, where schools were created for African Americans that were underrepresented and marginalized in the South. The bravery that these educators, both black and white, were there in the heart of Mississippi teaching children and adults how to read and to write. This book really walks you through the trials and tribulations of a white woman living with an African American family in Mississippi, being a teacher in one of these freedom schools, and it just talks about the hardships that this family faced and the courage that they had and their church community to stand up to hate and oppression and still marching on. I'm going to add this book to your list for social justice in your classroom.

Speaker 1:

Great read For my upper elementary students the book the Breadwinner Trilogy by Deborah Ellis. Now, if you are looking for a book that will make you think about the human cost of war in an entirely new way, look no further than the Breadwinner series. It is set in Afghanistan and this is a historical fiction novel. I had this gifted to me from one of my former students and I could not turn the pages fast enough. It was such a great read. It talks about where 11 year old Parvana lives with her family in a bombed out apartment in Kabul, and each book there's three books in the series all in one takes you on a journey through Parvana's world that is incredibly moving. In the Breadwinner, parvana has to transform herself into a boy and become the breadwinner for her family when her father is arrested for having a foreign education. So in Parvana's journey, her father is in imminent danger and now her being 13, she is determined to find her father and her family that has been displaced. And you just see through Parvana's eyes and the people she meets along the way. Each book is told from different perspectives and it talks about survival through ingenuity, compassion for those who are different from us, hope amid despair and how, even when there seems to be no way out of terrible situations, we can still choose to love over hate and make for our own self.

Speaker 1:

Love this book, the Breadwinner Trilogy by Deborah Ellis, for my middle to high school crew, my secondary school. I love this book. I'm still reading it. It is titled you Truly Assumed by Lila Sabreen. This book amplifies three African-American Muslim teenagers and it takes place, I would say, in present day time. It is realistic fiction, but think about it when your life has been turned upside down by something big. There was a terrorist attack, and these three young teenagers band together and talk about in form of a blog of their shared frustration, and it goes over the themes of Islamophobia and racism. What I love most about this book your students can really understand in real time of what students that they are walking alongside must be feeling when have been disrupted when it comes to war and terrorism. One of my favorite quotes from Farah, one of the main characters of the book, it's on page 75 and she says, and I quote I wish I could exist without even a wisp of concern. It'd be nice just to be and I know that quote resonated with me and so many people of color and so many people of different faiths when it's just to just breathe and just to be yourself. This is a great book for small group and a great book for reading out loud as a classroom, especially in English and in your social studies classes, and having this topic of social justice through the digital age Now for our adult readers.

Speaker 1:

This book is really near and dear to my heart. It is titled Waging Peace One Soldier's Story of Putting Love First. It's written by Diana Ostrich. Diana is a really dear friend of mine. She is an Army veteran of the Army National Guard and in her book this is her first memoir she shares her story of how God called her to be a peacemaker in the place of war and how that choice led her to an unlikely friendship with an Iraqi family. You really walk alongside Diana as what she had faced and her decision to be a peacemaker in a very volatile time being overseas in the middle of the Iraq war. She enlisted, just like her parents did, and she also talked about how she was commanded to make these life or death situations and how to keep herself safe and as well as to keep the Iraqi people safe as well and, following God's call, to love your enemy or follow your country's command in war. So she's torn between these two things and she chooses, instead of waging war but to wage peace. Just this book, another page turner, and it just really shows you the beautiful things in the midst of chaos, in the midst of suffering and death. And Diana just writes this just beautifully and you're just hanging on to her having the responsibility of keeping all of her soldiers safe in her unit as that combat medic and in having her unit in her hands, as well as the people that she is there for against or for in the midst of war, and how complicated a nuanced war is. So, oh, please get this book. It is so well done For our teachers getting geared up in the new year.

Speaker 1:

I know when I was on break I would always kind of take my break but also think about for the new semester what can I do to better serve my students? And this book, unearthing Joy a guide to culturally and historically responsive teaching and learning by Goldie Muhammad oh, I love this book more than you know. This book is a very good hands-on guide to culture responsive teaching and education. She talks about her HILL model and if you're not familiar with the HILL model, this refers to histories, identities, literacies and liberation.

Speaker 1:

This is Goldie's pedagogy, and she has lots of prompts and questions. For example, she even highlights our frequently asked questions. For example, am I supposed to teach about all cultures and identities of all of my students? And of course it's implied. The goal is not to teach all cultures and identities in the world in one single school year, but to connect every lesson, unit, plan and other learning experiences to the students' lives in some way, and I feel like as educators we get to be so overwhelmed up having to do all of the things. But if you incorporate it and weave it into your curricula, it will flow much more seamlessly.

Speaker 1:

When a racialized event happens to us as children, it's often traumatic because the adults in our lives have not cultivated race consciousness and taught us about the beauty and genius of humans of different races from our own. That's by Beverly Daniel Tatum and that's lots of good quotes in this guidebook. This guidebook is broken down by various themes and pedagogies and finding the joy in cultural, responsive education. She has a playlist that you have QR codes to and songs that go along with each theme and she even has color pages for us educators to use those reflective props that she has in each chapter. And while you are processing those prompts to color this beautiful artwork, she really gives you strategies and poems to continue this work. She wants you to think about how you can identify with each lesson, what skill the students will need, the intellect and how to think critically and finding the joy of each aspect with that family and home connection. She even says you need to have both of her books in order for her to work cohesively. Her first book titled Cultivating Genius, and this is her sequel to that, so I highly recommend getting both of those books Cultivating Genius and Unearthing Joy in order to start your 2024 year correctly, and I will have more information of where you can find all these books in the description below.

Speaker 1:

For workplace development. By the words of Angela Davis, I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I'm changing the things I cannot accept. This book, whoo. I can't wait to share it with you. It is called I Said what I Said an anthology of black women in non-profit. It is gathered by Erika Weiflood-Multeri. It highlights 25 women from 25 different backgrounds, and they share their journey of leading in the nonprofit sector and amplifying their voices as they are leading. In this book, you're going to read the stories that they have so bravely shared of overcoming adversity and how they lead in the nonprofit sector. So, while the nonprofit sector, we all are aware they value well-being and service, but it tends to fall short of valuing leadership from women of color. However, these women in this book step forward to lead in spite of racism and inequality. They have reclaimed their passion for serving others and making a difference. This book if you really want to understand what it's like being a black woman in non-profit, it can even translate to being a black woman in filling the blank of this sector here in corporate, in education, in small business you can read this book from any sector of the workforce and get tons of value of understanding where black women are in terms of them working and the pressures that a lot of us still are going through in pay, in respect, in challenges.

Speaker 1:

And even the title I said what I said. There's something so powerful about that. So many times black women have been questioned, diminished, minimized and just that simple phrase. I said what I said. I'm standing on what I'm saying and what I mean. So you have to get this book so, so good. So these are just a few to just get you started. 2024, just right.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to go over my list one more time and, like I said, it will be in the show notes sold. You can get all of these titles wherever books are sold. With our list, starting from early childhood, we have Child of the Civil Rights Movement by Paula Young Shelton and Raul Cologne. Then we have Freedom School yes, by Amy Little Sugar and Floyd Cooper. The Breadwinner Trilogy by Deborah Ellis you Truly Assumed. By Lila Sabreen. Waging Peace One Soldier's Story of Putting Love First by Diana Ostrich. Unearthing Joy by Goldie Muhammad. A guide to culturally and historically responsive teaching and learning and I said what I said an anthology of Black women in non-profit gathered by Erika Weiflod-Moltier.

Speaker 1:

Also, of all of my favorite things, you, my listener, are one of my favorite people. Thank you so much for tuning in every single week with the Cultural Curriculum Chat. I am grateful and honored that you are here every Friday listening to my resources and advice of what we can do in order to build up our ally muscle, build up our course curriculum for our students, build up our professional workforce development and sharing my episodes with somebody that you know would value from what I have put out there. I can't tell you enough how grateful I am that you have stuck by me. This is episode number 99, y'all, I am going to start the new year in episode 100.

Speaker 1:

I am so, so excited to share with you all of these wonderful gifts. It motivates me to continue this work and finding as many books as I can for you all and vet all the resources that I can that you have the best information, writing your earbuds, or writing your car and your way going to your errands, or dropping your kit off to their sport and their club events, and just listening to what I have to say, you know this just warms my heart more ways than you know. So thank you so much for listening. Be sure to stay up to date on my weekly newsletter. Just check in the link below and you will have some great resources right into your inbox every week. I cannot wait to share with you more fun episodes of books. I'm going to be interviewing more people out in the space of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in education as well as in the workforce. So 2024 is going to be the best year yet with the Culture Curriculum Chat. Thanks again and I will see you here same time next week. Bye, bye.

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