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Monday, November 04, 2013

Polka Dots and Self-Portraits First Voice Multicultural Children's books


Polka Dots and Self-Portraits First Voice Multicultural Children's books 

This piece, by Maya Gonzalez, very powerfully articulates how  so  much of what counts as reading and literature for children objectifies  and thus we alienates youth:
"Each time I sensed a lack of resonance, I looked more closely at the author And artist and each time I found that they did not originate from the community they were representing. It is not that their books lacked merit, by no means. But it did feel different. And each time, I This study feeling in my gut, it reminded me of educator course, professors, experts, ethnographers, authors and artists who were telling me about me or my people or my culture. I did not feel felt. I felt that he did, categorized, defined and documented by outsiders. I did not feel that I belong to. I felt separate."
 
 Maya Gonzalez is an artist, author and educator. Her fine art graces the cover of Contemporary Chicano/a Art and is well documented as part of the Chicano Art Movement. She has illustrated over 20 award-winning children’s books and authored two. Since 1996, Maya has been providing presentations to children and educators about the importance of creativity as a tool for personal empowerment. Her work with children in public schools helped her develop two lines of curriculum called Claiming Face and Gender Now. In 2009 she co-founded Reflection Press, an independent press that publishes radical children’s books, and works that expand spiritual and cultural awareness. In 2013, Maya also co-created an online learning environment called School of the Free Mind that provides classes to support all people in reclaiming their creative power.  www.mayagonzalez.com  www.reflectionpress.com  www.schoolofthefreemind.com - See more at: http://www.picturebookacademy.com/8/post/2013/07/polka-dots-self-portraits-and-first-voice-multicultural-childrens-books.html#sthash.Xxcmw9lW.dpuf


 In response, the self portraiture about which she advocates makes abundant sense  for today's classrooms that, on the whole, lack the kind of culturally rich environment that both empower and encourage children to become good readers and literate in one or more languages. 

-Angela
Each time I sensed a lack of resonance, I looked more closely at the author and artist and each time I found that they did not originate from the community they were representing. It is not that their books lacked merit, by no means. But it did feel different. And each time, I got this funny feeling in my gut, it reminded me of educators, professors, experts, ethnographers, authors and artists who were telling me about me or my people or my culture. I did not feel felt. I felt studied, categorized, defined and documented by outsiders. I did not feel that I belonged. I felt separate. - See more at: http://www.picturebookacademy.com/8/post/2013/07/polka-dots-self-portraits-and-first-voice-multicultural-childrens-books.html#sthash.5dMBmHoa.dpuf

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