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Rap It Up this summer

28 Apr

Our most popular summer program has always been Jeffery’s hip hop workshop. The powerful workshop is going virtual this summer in hopes of reaching even more students. The program is ideal for libraries, camps and youth agencies. For booking information, contact carmenoliver@the bookingbiz.com.

Church Fans: Cool Artifacts & Warm Memories

21 Apr

BY AND BY: CHARLES ALBERT TINDLEY, THE FATHER OF GOSPEL MUSIC–my picture book biography with illustrator Bryan Collier–has me reminiscing about the Black Church. I was baptized, confirmed and married at Union Memorial United Methodist Church in Baltimore. In Sunday School, we sang the spiritual, “This Little Light of Mine.” Afterwards, I joined my parents at worship service. I remember the hard pews, stained glass windows, altar flowers and pipe organ–one of the city’s finest. I also remember the colorful handheld fans that cooled adults and entertained little angels in the days before air-conditioning.

Big fans of fans, like Black Southern Belle, collect the artifacts–or at least compile pictures of them.

Coming soon: a cool fan activity.

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Don’t miss a beat in June.

15 Apr

Time to plan for Juneteenth…

29 Mar
For bookings, contact Carmen Oliver: carmenoliver@thebookingbiz.com

Who’s Zoomin’ Who? The Weatherfords are zoomin’ you!

29 Mar

Author and illustrator, mother and son,
An award-winning duo, two for the price of one.
We’ve toured as far as Africa and the Middle East.
What’s cooking now? An enlightening virtual feast.
On the menu, books and lessons from our careers,
and powerful poetry that pleases students’ ears.
We’ll share our research and how we create.
We’ll talk injustices that have sparked debate.
We’ll spotlight heroes and anti-racist themes.
We’ll answer tough questions and inspire big dreams.
We’re coming to your school via Skype or Zoom.
We can’t wait to visit. Book your date soon!

Free downloads: R-E-S-P-E-C-T poster & teachers guide

26 Mar
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BOX by the Numbers

24 Mar

R-E-S-P-E-C-T backstory

15 Dec

Why and how I wrote a picture book biography of Aretha Franklin.

Behind Marilyn Monroe’s Mask

16 Sep
Mask with Marilyn’s red pout and signature beauty mark.

Read my article on Medium.

Book Birthday Musings on BEAUTY MARK & Marilyn Monroe

8 Sep

While the #MeToo movement rocked Hollywood, I noticed teens of all ethnicities rocking Marilyn Monroe gear. The seeming irony led me to re-examine the 1950s sex symbol and to write Beauty Mark: A Verse Novel of Marilyn Monroe.

My research found a woman who was so much more than the blond bombshell she portrayed. In the book, Monroe emerges as a feminist, businesswoman and ally, who spoke up against sexual harassment, rebelled against the studio system, started her own production company, and used her clout to fight racism.

Beauty Mark, the first young adult book about Monroe, reveals that Marilyn’s relevance is as enduring as her allure.