Summit Sessions is an ongoing educational series for nannies, educators, newborn care specialists, and other private service professionals who gather monthly for inspiring and cutting-edge experts and leaders in their fields, who will offer their expertise in the form of live, interactive sessions for attendees to take in, ask questions of, and learn from.
For this month’s live stream we were honored to speak with the inspiring and extremely knowledgeable Henriette Selestine.
Henriette lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their three small kids. She is a biracial Black mom sharing diverse children’s books with positive Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) characters her family loves.
Prior to becoming a parent, Henriette completed a Master’s degree in International Multicultural Education with a concentration in Human Rights Education. Her goal as a community member is to do her part in eliminating inequities and cultural deficit narratives about BIPOC. As a parent, it quickly became clear to Henriette that all children’s books with BIPOC characters did not portray characters positively, and many even perpetuated negative racial stereotypes.
One Black history month, she started sharing a different children’s book every day featuring positive Black characters. After receiving enthusiastic support from friends and family, Henriette decided to share these book reviews publicly and officially start Mama Let’s Read.
In this presentation, we focused on why reading racially diverse stories with positive BIPOC characters is important for us to do with the children in our lives. Henriette shared with us why reading books that provide windows, as well as books that provide mirrors, are so important. Additionally, we explored how one can discern “good” books versus books that perpetuate stereotypes. Lastly, Henriette shared some of her family’s favorite titles.
In this session we discussed the following points:
- If all the books your child reads have white main characters, you are perpetuating white supremacy.
- Mirrors: Children naturally gravitate towards self-affirming stories where they see themselves.
- Windows: Children need stories where they can see people of all races be human.
WHERE TO LEARN MORE:
For incredible book recommendations and excellent resources, and to learn more from Henriette, please follow Mama Let’s Read on social media:
Multicultural Children’s Book Publisher: https://www.
Wheat Penny Press: https://www.
Scholarly Paper on Dr. Seuss’s Books: https://sophia.stkate.
Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop’s 1990 article: https://scenicregional.org/wp-
We Need Diverse Books: https://diversebooks.org/
For more information about this and other fantastic training sessions, check out our free online educational group for progressive childcare providers, Summit Sessions.
To learn more about Summit Sessions, join our private Facebook group here for free monthly educational workshops that happen live so you can ask tons of questions, but are also available for you to view 24/7 as well. Click the button below to participate!
Did you enjoy this session? What will you do or say differently in your role as a result? We’d love to hear about your personal takeaways, along with any feedback on who or what you’d like to learn about in future Summit Sessions!
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