Bibliocycle Visits Wee Free Black Mamas

Over the weekend, Librarians Akunna and Maija represented the Bibliocycle team at a program put on by Wee the People and MassArt, "Wee Free Black Mamas".  "Wee Free Black Mamas" was an event to create postcards for mothers in jail. They hope to raise awareness and to raise money to bail out mothers who are awaiting trial. The event hosted read-alouds and a teach-in, in addition to the postcard creation stations. The postcards will be sent to the many Black women who aren't able to be with their children and families on Mother's Day because they cannot afford the bail fee. We didn't have the Bibliocycle trailer with us, but we had our t-shirts and lots of enthusiasm for the program.

Elena White, the Associate Director of the Center for Art and Community Partnerships was really generous and engaging. She helped set up a little area for us in their Atrium with a table and a cozy reading nook of soft chairs and tables. We visited with Francie and Tanya from Wee the People as they continued to buzz around the room, greeting people and welcoming everyone. 

Francie , the author of Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings noticed her book was on our display,and she was a little embarrassed. However, we insisted that we champion diversity and want everyone to get a chance to read it while they visited our reading nook. We set up our table with flyers about upcoming library programs in the neighborhoods, and displays of books for children and adults.

Lots of library users, activists, families and teachers and MassArt students dropped by our area to ask us about programs going on around the library system. We watched children get their faces painted and families collaborated on t-shirts and postcards.  We got to talk to some familiar faces from surrounding branches about programs that they enjoyed. Akunna helped a few people make new library cards and we checked out a handful of books to patrons. If you'd like to see the books we brought on our visit, check out the list below.


Wee the People Wee Free Black Mamas

List created by MaijaM

We took the Bibliocycle to MassArt to be part of Wee the People's "Wee Free Black Mamas" program over the weekend. If you missed it, you can check out some of the books that we brought to the event in the list below. Want to check out where we are visiting next? Click on the following link:

The Combahee River Collective, a group of radical black feminists, was one of the most important organizations to develop out of the anti-racist and women's liberation movements of the 1960s and 70s. In this collection, founding members of the organization and contemporary activists reflect on the legacy of its contributions to black feminism and its impact on today's struggles.

"Poet, firebrand, mother, radical, healer, and sage, Nikki Giovanni has always been celebrated for her inspired and courageous voice. For decades, she has spoken out on the sensitive issues -- race and gender, violence and inequality -- that touch our national consciousness. As energetic and insightful as ever, Nikki Giovanni now offers us an intimate and affecting look at her personal history and the hidden corners of her own heart. In A Good Cry, she takes us into her confidence, describing the joy and peril of aging and recalling the violence that permeated her parents' marriage and her childhood. She pays homage to the people who have given her life meaning and delight: her grandparents, who took her in and saved her life; the poets and thinkers who have influenced her; and the students who have surrounded her. Giovanni also celebrates her good friend, Maya Angelou, and the many years of friendship, poetry, and kitchen-table laughter they shared before Angelou's death in 2014. An essential work for our times and a moving chronicle of an artist's life. A Good Cry is another classic from the prolific and perennially relevant Nikki Giovanni"-

More than 42 million people living in the United States came here from other countries. Since its beginnings, America has been a haven for people seeking refuge from political or economic troubles, or simply those in search of adventure and prosperity in a land where opportunity is promised to all. Along with their hopes and dreams, they brought valuable gifts: recipes from their homelands that transformed the way America eats. What would the Southwest be without its piquant green chili pepper sauces and stews, New York City without its iconic Jewish delis, Dearborn without its Arab eateries, or Louisiana without the Creole and Cajun flavors of its signature gumbos and jambalayas? Imagine an America without pizza or pad Thai, hummus or hot dogs, sushi or strudelfor most people, it wouldnt taste much like America at all.

A young girl and her grandmother visit the girl's father in prison.

"A boy wakes up one morning to find his father gone. At first, he feels lost. But his father has left him a letter filled with advice to guide him through the times he cannot be there"

Other students laugh when Rigoberto, an immigrant from Venezuela, introduces himself but later, he meets Angelina and discovers that he is not the only one who feels like an outsider.

"Every winter, a young girl flies to Haiti to visit her Auntie Luce, a painter. The moment she steps off the plane, she feels a wall of heat, and familiar sights soon follow - the boys selling water ice by the pink cathedral, the tap tap buses in the busy streets, the fog and steep winding road to her aunt's home in the mountains. The girl has always loved Auntie Luce's paintings - the houses tucked into the hillside, colorful fishing boats by the water, heroes who fought for and won the country's independence. Through Haiti's colors, the girl comes to understand this place her family calls home."

"An illustrated picture book autobiography in which award-winning author Yuyi Morales tells her own immigration story"

"Lola was just a baby when her family left the Island, so when she has to draw it for a school assignment, she asks her family, friends, and neighbors about their memories of her homeland ... and in the process, comes up with a new way of understanding her own heritage"

Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou's debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide. Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local "powhitetrash." At eight years old and back at her mother's side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age--and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors ("I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare") will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned. Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read. " I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings liberates the reader into life simply because Maya Angelou confronts her own life with such a moving wonder, such a luminous dignity."--James Baldwin

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