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Monday, February 12, 2024

Black Children’s Books Are Being Banned, But This Black Author Launched a Global Movement to Celebrate Them

Veronica N. Chapman

Nationwide — Black children’s book bans are rising, but no ban can stop the power of the people. The third annual celebration of Black Children’s Book Week starts on February 25th. People around the world are gearing up to participate in celebrations in Canada, Ghana, Austria, and throughout the US. Founded in 2022 by social entrepreneur and author Veronica N. Chapman, Black Children’s Book Week (BCBW) is a global celebration of Black children and the power of diversity and representation in children’s books.

Harnessing the power of representation

Chapman’s goal is to “raise the vibration in the world” for Black children and highlight the power of positive representation. “Publishing children’s books with Black protagonists is a form of activism because it ensures that Black children see themselves represented so they can develop both a love for reading and for themselves,” says Chapman. “Representation matters because it is a protective force, as research shows that positive representation increases Black children’s self-esteem, and helps protect them from the impact of racism.”

Join the celebration

Asked why people should celebrate Black Children’s Book Week, Chapman responded, “Black Children’s Book Week is scheduled joy. It’s a proactive and joyful solution in a time when we often find ourselves responding to racist policies and traumatic events. These inhumanities can keep us sad and anxious, and make us feel powerless.”

She continues, “BCBW is a movement that encourages us to stand in our power and work collectively to ensure that Black children feel seen, affirmed, and loved. It’s so exciting and inspiring to see authors, librarians, parents, youth organizations, and others gearing up to celebrate Black children and the power of their representation.”

To learn more and to find ways to celebrate, visit BlackBabyBooks.com/bcbw

And follow Black Children’s Book Week on Instagram (@blackchildrensbookweek). This year’s kickoff event, a tour of Chapman’s Virtual Black Children’s Book Museum, is scheduled for February 24, 2024. Visit www.blackchildrensbookmuseum.org to register.

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Black Children’s Book Week is a global celebration of Black children and the people who ensure Black children are represented in books and other children’s media. Founded by entrepreneur and children’s book author Veronica N. Chapman—and administered by Black Baby Books, LLC, a platform she launched to make it easier to discover children’s books with Black characters—Black Children’s Book Week starts every year on the last Sunday in February. Also, a Black Children’s Book Museum Exhibit Opening is always scheduled on the Saturday before the start of the week.