Woke up this morning and pulled the paper into the house from the cold white steps. Briefly looked at my white yard and reflected once again on the lack of color. The thoughts revisited that when every thing is the same we miss the richness of life. We miss the variety and challenges of hearing and seeing life in new and different ways.
I live in a big city because I like different perspectives. I want to read and be a part of lives that are different from my own. I also understand the need to read and gather with people who are like me as well.
We need both in our lives. Our students need many voices, faces and perspectives in their lives as well. Having spent most of my teaching career working with students in poverty and communities with diverse populations I have always been seeking books that share their story.
I know the importance of reading books that reflect your own life and also reading books about people who have very different experiences from my own. The first thing I do when I walk into a new book store is scan for Children’s books that reflect people of color. They are hard to find. There are some great publishers I can go to, like Lee and Low but I want to be able to pick up stories for my students without having to seek a special publisher. I want my students to walk into a book store and know these books are about their lives not just the lives of white kids.
So I was happy to see but sad to reflect on the article in the New York time this morning. I loved that Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher Myers spoke to this issue as well. They are far more eloquent that I -so please take a minute to read their editorial this morning.