Multimedia Recommendations & Critiques

Children’s media is an invaluable source of information and reflects the attitudes in our society about various social identities (e.g., racial, ethnic, gender, economic class, sexual orientation, and disability). The visual and verbal messages children absorb from media (books, movies, etc.) heavily influence their ideas about themselves and others. Depending on the quality of said media, they can reinforce (or undermine) children’s affirmative self-concept, teach accurate (or misleading) information about people of various identities, and foster positive (or negative) attitudes about differences. It teaches children about who is important, who matters, and who is even visible. Consequently, carefully choosing quality children’s media is an indispensable educational and child-rearing task. If you've enjoyed and found our 'Media Recommendations & Critiques' helpful please consider donating to FoCMC, so that we can continue doing the important work of being intentional as we assess our existing collections and build our children's future libraries.

Windows, Mirrors, & Sliding Glass Doors

Doors figured rather prominently in my imagination, and books were indeed windows into other worlds. They were not, however, much of a mirror for my young black female self. I learned early on that only white children had wonderful adventures in distant lands; only white children were magically transported through time and space; only white children found the buried key that unlocked their own private Eden. I wish there had been more balance in the books I consumed as a child. I am gratified to know that my fascination with doors now enables me to contribute to a rich storytelling tradition that celebrates my ancestors’ resilient humanity. If we do not create stories that expose the beauty and complexity of our varied realities, we will indeed remain trapped by the ‘fictions’ created by those outside of our cultures and communities.
— The Writer’s Page: Decolonizing the Imagination by Zetta Elliott

Decolonizing Our Imaginations

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I have often wished that such a graphic existed for my country of origin. I grew up without ‘mirror books’ and as a result often felt invisible and less valuable than my White peers. When I decided to become a writer at age thirteen, I initially wrote stories about Whites because almost all of the books I consumed featured White protagonists. It has taken years for me to decolonize my imagination.
— The Face In The Mirror by Zetta Elliott

Representation Matters

...if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all. I was like, ‘Yo, is something wrong with me? That the whole society seems to think that people like me don’t exist?’
— Junot Díaz
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Curating a Collection

Intentionally assessing our existing collections and building our kids' future libraries. 


 

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