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Africville: 5 Children's Books by Author Shauntay Grant That Uplift and Educate (plus Video)

Updated: Sep 12


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Author Shauntay Grant is a descendant of Black Loyalists, Jamaican Maroons and Black Refugees who migrated to Canada some two hundred years ago. She has created several children's books that exude the pride she has in her people and her culture. These five children's books are great for fostering conversations about pride in who we are and where we're from. Happy Reading!



Africville Black History Childrens Books

When a young girl visits the site of Africville, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the stories she's heard from her family come to mind. She imagines what the community was once like --the brightly painted houses nestled into the hillside, the field where boys played football, the pond where all the kids went rafting, the bountiful fishing, the huge bonfires. Coming out of her reverie, she visits the present-day park and the sundial where her great- grandmother's name is carved in stone, and celebrates a summer day at the annual Africville Reunion/Festival.


Africville was a vibrant Black community for more than 150 years. But even though its residents paid municipal taxes, they lived without running water, sewers, paved roads and police, fire-truck and ambulance services. Over time, the city located a slaughterhouse, a hospital for infectious disease, and even the city garbage dump nearby. In the 1960s, city officials decided to demolish the community, moving people out in city dump trucks and relocating them in public housing.


Today, Africville has been replaced by a park, where former residents and their families gather each summer to remember their community. Learn more about Africville: Africville Museum


Purchase: Bookshop



Happy memories sparkle in this journey through poet Shauntay Grant's childhood visits to North Preston, Nova Scotia. Her words bring to life the sights, sounds, rhythms, and people of a joyful place, while Susan Tooke's vibrant illustrations capture the warmth of one of Canada's most important black communities. Up Home celebrates the magic of growing up, and the power in remembering our roots now in a new softcover edition.

Purchase: Bookshop



From patchwork-quilt farmland to the winding red roads, from sandy beaches to the endless stars at night, Apples and Butterflies shows Prince Edward Island shining in the bright blue and gold light of fall. Shauntay Grant's award-winning poetry and Tamara Thiébaux Heikalo's rich and wild illustrations pull the reader towards the wide-open space of the island. New softcover edition.


Purchase: Bookshop





Natural, knotty, fluffy, frizzy, twisted, tangled, pony, puffed!


A celebration of natural hair, from afros to cornrows and everything in between, My Hair is Beautiful is a joyful board book with a powerful message of self-love.


Governor General's Award-nominated author Shauntay Grant brings her unique spoken-word style to this fun read-aloud, featuring minimalist text and vibrant photos of toddlers sporting fresh dos, and a mirror to reflect your own baby's beauty.


Purchase: Bookshop



A little girl learns the importance of speaking up for what she wants while at the barbershop and ends up rocking the fabulous hair style she chooses in this fun and empowering picture book.


When a little girl walks into her local barbershop, she knows she wants the flyest, freshest fade on the block! But there are so many beautiful hairstyles to choose from, and the clients and her mother suggest them all: parts, perms, frizzy fros, dye jobs, locs, and even cornrows!


But this little girl stays true to herself and makes sure she leaves the shop feeling on top with the look she picks!


Author Shauntay Grant's sweet, rhyming story encourages young girls to be self-confident and celebrates the many shapes and forms Black hair can take. Through their stunning illustrations, Kitt Thomas is able to bring life and movement to the versatile styles featured in this book.


Purchase: Bookshop




SHAUNTAY GRANT is a descendant of Black Loyalists, Jamaican Maroons and Black Refugees who migrated to Canada some two hundred years ago. A writer and performance artist, she has won the Joseph S. Stauffer Prize, and she has published several picture books. Shauntay also lectures in the Creative Writing Program at Dalhousie University. Her professional degrees and training include the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of British Columbia, and the Bachelor of Journalism program at the University of King's College. She lives in Halifax.




VIDEO ABOUT AFRICVILLE

The tragedy of Africville's story often obscures a larger truth: this was an African-Canadian community where people lived for generations. And that community has transcended the destruction of its physical space, often reuniting on the site they once called home. These are the stories that inspired Shauntay Grant to write her award-winning children's book Africville.


"I am just so grateful to have grown up hearing stories and just being encouraged from my family to just know where we come from and to be proud of that. And I just want other kids who read the book to have that same sense of pride, whether they're connected to the ancestry or not." Author Shauntay Grant




 

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