By Darnell Hill
Spelman alumna Veronica N. Chapman is a social entrepreneur and children’s book author on a mission to help make the world better for Black children. In an effort to achieve this goal, Veronica has launched Black Children’s Book Week (BCBW), a global celebration of Black children and the power of positive representation in children’s books and other media, and an accompanying Virtual Black Children’s Book Museum.
“Research shows that when Black children see themselves represented positively in their media, it fortifies their self-esteem and helps protect them from the impact of racism,” says Veronica. “In an ideal world, Black children would get to grow up fully experiencing the joys and protections of childhood and not be dehumanized simply for having melanin-rich skin. Instead, they are often affected by and fully aware of the devastating impacts of racism, which can replace their natural childhood curiosity and zest with anxiety and fear. Black Children’s Book Week is an invitation for everyone to be intentional about making sure Black children feel our love.”
Administered by Black Baby Books, a platform founded by Chapman to make it easier to discover children’s books with Black characters, many responded to her call to action to help “raise the vibration in the world” for Black children. Authors, educators, community advocates, and others organized events during the week to accomplish this goal. Celebrants included people throughout the United States as well as the United Kingdom, Nigeria, St. Lucia, and Venezuela to name a few.
If you missed this year’s celebration, don’t worry, because parents, educators, and all advocates for Black children are invited to celebrate Black Children’s Book Week for years to come. The Week will always serve as an extension of Black History Month, beginning on the last Sunday in February.