Tag: inclusivity

Expanding Horizons: Why Celebrating Black Authors During Black History Month Matters

Expanding Horizons: Why Celebrating Black Authors During Black History Month Matters

We’ve all heard the saying, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Well, this is why I decided to become a children’s book author:

As a child who loved reading, I often craved stories with characters I could relate to, who looked like me or who had similar experiences or backgrounds as me…but most books read at school or that I found in libraries had characters that looked nothing like me. Thank goodness times are changing and I can readily offer my kids books written by black authors who showcase narratives and characters they can identify with, still we have a long way to go.

Black authors in Canada – worldwide really – have historically been underrepresented in the literary field, and there is ongoing work to increase visibility and representation for Black voices and perspectives. This includes initiatives to support Black writers, publish their works, and provide opportunities for them to connect with audiences; that being said, Black History Month is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the contributions and achievements of Black individuals, including Black authors.

Celebrating Black authors during this month helps to shine a spotlight on their works, increase visibility, and bring recognition to their voices and perspectives in literature. It also serves as a platform for the promotion of diversity and inclusivity in the literary world. Hopefully, by raising awareness and advocating for greater representation and diversity, we can create a more inclusive and equitable literary landscape for Black Canadian authors.

 So here are five ways you can support black authors during Black History Month (or any other time of the year):

  1. Buy books written by black authors: This is the most direct way to support black authors and help them earn a living from their work. You can purchase books from online retailers or local bookstores that carry works by black authors.
  2. Share and promote books on social media: If you have read a book by a black author that you enjoyed, consider sharing it on social media and recommending it to your friends. This helps to increase the visibility of these authors and their work.
  3. Review books on platforms such as Goodreads or Amazon: Writing a positive review can help to bring attention to the book and the author, especially if you have a large following on these platforms.
  4. Support black-owned bookstores: Buying books from black-owned bookstores is a great way to support both the authors and the stores themselves. These independent bookstores often carry a wider selection of works by black authors and can help to promote diversity in literature. For example, check out HoneyBooks a local NDG bookstore that is Black and Female Owned!
  5. Attend events featuring black authors: If you have the opportunity to attend a book signing, reading, or other event featuring a black author, consider going. This is a great way to show your support and hear from the author in person.

Remember, by showcasing the talents and experiences of Black authors, we are able to broaden our perspectives, deepen our understanding and celebrate the richness and diversity of black history and culture.

I’d love to hear about who are some of your favourite black authors? Have you read any new books written by black authors this Black History Month? Please share in the comments below!

Until next time,

Kalifa Rodriguez M.Sc., RD, CBS

Author of the award-winning book Eating These Foods Makes Me…

 

Congrats! You’ve WON!

Congrats! You’ve WON!

I want to wish Heather and Julie from Ontario, Ca. as well as Genevieve from Alberta, Ca. a heartfelt congratulations on being randomly selected as the 3 winners of the Goodreads Giveaway who will be receiving a brand new copy of my book Eating These Foods Makes Me…

There were over 300 entries, wow! Thank you so much to all who entered the giveaway and have shown genuine interest in my book. I look forward to any feedback you may have and I’d love to connect with you at any point in the future. Feel free to message me on my FB page Kalifa Rodriguez Books, IG @The.Nutrition.Connection, or my website www.KalifaRodriguezBooks.com

Blessings,

Kalifa Rodriguez M.Sc, RD, CBS
Author of Eating These Foods Makes Me…​

Why Diversity and Inclusivity Is Important in Children’s Literature

Why Diversity and Inclusivity Is Important in Children’s Literature

It was Multicultural Children’s Book Day last Friday January 28th and it got me thinking about how truly important diversity and inclusivity is in the books available to our children. In fact research shows that by the tender age of 2 years old children already start noticing social differences such as race. Diversity in children’s literature is so important, especially for kids who identify with different communities. These books allow children to “find themselves” within the pages and it validates their place in this world. It is about ensuring all our kids feel seen and included in activities, especially one as important as reading!

Let’s clarify: what is a multicultural book?

According to https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/ diverse & multicultural books include those that:

  • Books that contain characters of color as well as main characters that represent a minority point of view.
  • Books that are written by an author of diversity or color (such as myself) from their perspective.
  • Books that share ideas, stories, and information about cultures, race, religion, language, and traditions. These books can be non-fiction yet still entertaining and informative.
  • Books that embrace special needs or even “hidden disabilities” like ADHD, ADD, and anxiety. For example, Eating These Foods Makes Me… features a character with special needs and embraces children with “hidden disabilities” like ADHD.
  • Books that show IBPOC readers what is POSSIBLE–like in my book there’s a black female teacher with dreads, there’s also a Muslim child modestly dressed in a hijab practicing gymnastics.

 

Why choose children’s books that celebrate diversity ?

I remember growing up and feeling frustrated by the lack of books, toys and dolls that looked like me. As a child you don’t really understand these thoughts and begin to harbor subtle feelings of inferiority and estrangement that can last a lifetime. Our kids inadvertently start to compare themselves to those they more frequently see books written about. However, books with diverse characters aren’t only meant for IBPOC readers, they help to develop kindness and empathy in all readers! These books help our children learn respect for all identities, something we desperately need in today’s world.

If you share my mission to raise awareness for kid’s books that celebrate diversity, you can do your part today by sharing the word about your favorite children’s books and #elevatemelanatedvoices by supporting authors of color, as well as requesting them at your child’s school, local libraries and day camps.  Together we can raise our #ownvoices and #readyourworld by demonstrating how much #representationmatters.

Kalifa Rodriguez M.Sc, RD, CBS
Author of Eating These Foods Makes Me…

p.s. Let’s connect on social media! You can follow my FB page Kalifa Rodriguez Books or IG @the.nutrition.connection and for more health related videos check out my YouTubeChannel. Want to share this blog post with a friend? Simply copy this URL and send it to them!