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George Floyd and Emmett Till

By June 15, 2020May 14th, 2021The Kerlan Blog

A few people have been asking about the lack of postings here on the Blue Ox Review lately.

This is a time of listening, learning, and reflections.

I have been thinking a lot of the 2014 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture. The honoree, Andrea Davis Pinkney chose to speak about American history, Black history, children’s literature, racism, brutality, and social justice.

May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture with Andrea Davis Pinkney

Black children's book writer and editor Andrea Davis Pinkney

A still from the 2014 Arbuthnot Lecture

And of the exhibit where the Kerlan Collection featured Marilyn Nelson’s A Wreath for Emmett Till. We display the Nelson’s poems and the art from the book surrounded with primary source materials and newspaper clippings giving context to the art and and his story. I was grateful for this opportunity to tell Emmett Till’s story through these materials from the Kerlan and Givens collections.

Gallery View Rejoice the Legacy exhibit

The video of the 2020 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture

Many are making the connection between the lynching of Emmett Till and the murder of George Floyd as turning points in the history of the United States.


On National Public Radio

What does it mean to be anti-racist and how should adults talk to kids about race and racism? NPR’s Noel King talks to children’s author Renee Watson and anti-racism scholar Ibram Kendi.

How can parents help their children understand how to be antiracist?

There are many anti-racist and diverse booklists being posted right now for children and young adults, for teachers and librarians, for parents and caregivers.

Title Card #KidLit4BlackLives

Title Card #KidLit4BlackLives

The Brown Bookshelf: United in Story

Produced KidLit Rally 4 Black Lives: Anti-Racist Resources for Children, Families, and Educators

The Brown Bookshelf  hosted the KidLit4BlackLives Rally that took place on June 4, 2020. Led by Kwame Alexander, Jacqueline Woodson, and Jason Reynolds, the Rally featured inspiring words, music, and numerous calls to action in support of equity and justice. For resources, please visit…

Black Lives Matter Instructional Library

Black Lives Matter Instructional Library

Black Lives Matter Instructional Library Title Slide

Children’s Book read aloud videos and links to websites.

From Publishers’ Weekly

A children’s and ya anti-racist reading-list

Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi, illus. by Ashley Lukashevsky (Kokila, June 16, $8.99, 9780593110416, ages up to 3.

cover of Antiracist Baby


From School Library Journal

Book Cover This Book is Anti-Racist

On Being Comfortable with Discomfort: Tiffany Jewell Explains What It Means To Be Anti-Racist

Tiffany Jewell’s recently published anti-racist primer, This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How To Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The Work (Quarto/Frances Lincoln; Gr 5 Up), aims to provide everyone, especially young readers, with ways to combat racism.

Jewell discussed her book, its message, and the importance of educators and teachers decolonizing their bookshelves with SLJ.



We are aggregating booklists, websites and events.

Minnesota Writers, Actors, and Artists

have come together to create, A Breath for George

New Dawn Theatre stands shoulder-to-shoulder with six Twin Cities’ theaters — Penumbra, Pillsbury House, Mixed Blood, Yellow Tree, Gremlin, Plymouth Congregational Church — to present for free outdoor screenings of A Breath for George, a collection of songs, interviews, and poems created to honor the life of George Floyd. Artists featured include: James T. Alfred, Aimee Bryant, Wanda Christine, Perri Gaffney, Peter Macon, Thomasina Petrus, T. Mychael Rambo, Frank Sentwali, Regina Marie Williams and Jevetta Steele. Interviews with Sarah Bellamy, Harvey Blanks, Melvin Carter Jr., James Craven, Talvin Wilks and Professor John Wright are also included in the collection. All screenings are free and open to the public.

A Breath for George Public Showings

Monday, June 15 @ 7:30PM & 8:30PM
1501 S 4th Street
, Minneapolis, MN 55454

Tuesday, June 16 @ 7:30PM & 8:30PM
270 N Kent St.,
St. Paul, MN 55102

Wednesday, June 17 @ 7:30PM & 8:30PM
Annex Building, 550 Vandalia St. #177,
St. Paul, MN 55114

Thursday, June 18 @ 7:30PM & 8:30PM
1900 Nicollet Ave S. Minneapolis, MN 55403

Friday, June 19 @ 7:30PM & 8:30PM
270 N Kent Street, St. Paul, MN 55102

Saturday, June 20 @ 7:30PM & 8:30PM
3501 Chicago Avenue
, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Sunday, June 21 @ 7:30PM & 8:30PM
320 5th Ave SE Osseo, MN 55369

Screening are free but donations and/or action is requested for the organizations listed at the New Dawn Theatre Company website—a-collection-of-songs-interviews-and-poems-created-to-honor-the-life-of-george-floyd



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