How We Can Live: Principles of Black Lives Matter

Lee & Low. Oct. 2022. 40p. Tr $20.95. ISBN 9781643794969.
Gr 1-5–The three founders of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Ayo, developed a set of guiding principles that honor the value of Black women, families, and LGBTQIA persons. Since its inception in 2013, the Black Lives Matter Movement has been instrumental in highlighting racism, discrimination, and racial inequality towards Black people. Garcia expands upon the principles in this book in order to reaffirm them and make them into a language children can connect with. For example, the BLM Principle of Diversity advocates, “We are committed to acknowledging, respecting and celebrating difference(s) and commonalities.” Here, it is written for children as, “When we get to hear ideas from lots of people, we get smarter, when we work together, our communities get stronger.” Each BLM guiding principle is reworked to stay true to the source but accessible to children, with thoughtful guiding questions for further reflection and discussion. In addition, each principle includes brightly colored illustrations of modern or historical Black activists, artists, or everyday community members. An introduction explains the origins of the BLM movement and an afterword for adults includes advice for how to deal with questions young people might have about racial inequality or injustice. Exceptionally well-written, it offers many opportunities to further the discussion of BLM from the angle of the hope that guides the movement.
VERDICT An important message for all young people, this is approachable but profound in its message, and a welcome addition to any elementary library.

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