HBCU Homecoming Children's Book Celebrates Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Author: La-Donia Alford Jefferies
Illustrator: J'Aaron Merchant
Available to order: April 2, 2019
We're so excited about this new children's book. While we haven't been able to find a lot of details about the book, we're definitely excited about the concept. HBCUs are an important part of America's history and a source of pride in African American culture. This book looks like the perfect introduction to the greatness of these schools!
George Washington Carver is credited as saying, "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." However, African Americans have been historically oppressed when it comes to getting an education. Simply holding a book could get an enslaved person whipped or even killed. After slavery was abolished, things like segregation, Jim Crow, and Black Codes, continued to make getting an education difficult for African Americans.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been at the forefront of providing quality education to African Americans, at a time when White institutions would not allow African Americans to attend. HBCUs offered African Americans an opportunity to get a quality education in a safe and supportive environment. While HBCUs have seen some decline in enrollment over the years, enrollment is on the rise. According to an article in the Washington Post, "total enrollment in fall 2017 was 298,138, an increase of 2.1 percent over the previous year. That jump came even as across-the-board enrollment in all U.S. colleges and universities continued to fall."
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Look at this art by J'Aaron Merchant. We are loving it! We can't wait to get our hands on this book. What a great way to introduce little readers to the history and pride of HBCUs!
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND ILLUSTRATOR
La-Donia Alford-Jefferies is a 2010 grad of North Carolina A&T and a native to Greensboro, NC. With her mom as a former professor and her dad an alumni of the university, La-Donia was destined to become an Aggie. As an Adjunct professor at the university, La-Donia is truly Aggie born and Aggie bred. Her husband Michael and daughters Eleanor and Emerson inspired her to write a book about their homecoming experiences as a family.
J'Aaron Merchant is a 2012 grad of Savannah State University and a native of the US Virgin Islands. As an illustrator she strives to create magical content for children of diverse backgrounds. Her mission is to provide the youth of today a window into themselves through inspiration, imagination, and illustration
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