Paintings and Picture Books That Serve As Catalysts for Talking About Race
Finding the right words to discuss race and racism with children can be challenging, but images can help. An article written by members of the Youth and Families team in the Art Institute of Chicago offers ideas about how to use picture books and artworks to talk about race and affirm children’s identities. The article, entitled “Art as Catalyst,” suggests three ways to approach talking with children about race and racism: “Introducing Identity and Race”; “Digging Deeper into Systemic Racism, Past and Present”; and “Celebrating Identity Through Art Making.” For example, Vincent and Tony, a painting by Alex Katz, can be paired with Sheila Hamanaka’s picture book All the Colors of the Earth, which introduces racial diversity by poetically describing different skin colors and the movement of hair. The very young can begin to grasp ideas about race and identity through the book’s colorful images and rhythmic text. Digging deeper, Walter Ellison’s painting Train Station offers a starting place for a conversation that connects contemporary manifestations of systemic racism and oppression to a historical moment, the Great Migration. Train Station can be paired with Jacob Lawrence’s picture book The Great Migration: An American Story, which combines the 60 panels of Lawrence’s Migration series with poetic text that explores the experiences of those who took part in this massive resettlement.
Back to school may look a little different this year, but one thing hasn’t changed: teachers are still finding innovative ways to improve student learning and they need funding in order to execute their ideas. To help you fund your classroom dreams this year, we’ve compiled a list of funding opportunities for the classroom:
An exhibition of the SmithsonianNational Portrait Gallery, Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence featured more than 120 portraits and objects spanning 1832 to 1965 that explore the American suffrage movement. Leading up to the centennial of the 19th Amendment, this exhibition seeks to tell a more complete story of the movement through portraits of women who represent different races, ages, and fields of endeavor.
Although the 19th Amendment declared that the right to vote cannot be denied on the basis of sex, it did not guarantee voting access. Citizenship laws, poll taxes, threats, and violence barred African American, Latina, Native American, Asian American, immigrant, and poor women.