Celebrate Black History Month with Apraxia Kids

February 1st marks the beginning of Black History Month; a full month celebrating all of the incredible historical contributions that Black people and communities have made to our country and to our world. We hope you will join Apraxia Kids during this month (and beyond) and learn from, listen to, and support our Black communities. 

 

Introducing the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force of Apraxia Kids!

Yes, February is dedicated to Black History Month, but we should take these lessons far beyond just this one month. That’s why Apraxia Kids is proud to announce that we have created our own Diversity & Inclusion Task Force! This group is composed of several Black parents of apraxia stars, as well as speech-language pathologists serving the Black and Spanish-speaking communities. Their personal experiences in the Black and apraxia communities will provide Apraxia Kids with the insight and guidance that is needed to ensure that our programs and services are as inclusive and accessible as possible. 

Apraxia Kids has spent the last several months listening to and learning from our wonderful and insightful Diversity & Inclusion Task Force members and we are excited to share some of those conversations and outcomes with you. But for now, we’d like to remind you of the commitment that Apraxia Kids made last year:

At Apraxia Kids, we believe that every child deserves a voice. Equality is one of the eight core values of Apraxia Kids, along with empathy and community. We continue to look more deeply into the diversity inside our own organization and its programs. We are committed to listening to, learning about, and supporting all children with apraxia and their families, regardless of the color of their skin, race, or culture. As an organization, we will prioritize building stronger relationships with Black professionals and Black families in the apraxia community.

 

As we look into the immediate future:

  • We are committed to listening to Black families and Black professionals impacted by childhood apraxia of speech.
  • We are committed to continually learning about the unique needs of the communities we serve.
  • We are committed to partnering with organizations to work collaboratively on providing resources for all underserved communities. 

 

We acknowledge that we have much to learn about racial disparities in accessing appropriate services for children of color with childhood apraxia of speech. We can do more; we will do more. 

 

Why is it important to learn and celebrate during Black History Month? (As told by members of our Diversity and Inclusion Task Force)

 

“It is important to educate ourselves on the contributions of various individuals, groups, societies, and also expand our appreciation for the humanities and cultures of the world. Diversity is critical in the development of a well-rounded society that embraces inclusion and welcomes all walks of life.” – RACHEL

 

“For a long time, many in America believed that African Americans had little to no presence in American history. Black history month is designed to draw attention to the stories of black Americans and our allies. Black history is American history. It is important for people to celebrate seeing themselves represented in the struggle for liberty, justice, and human rights. Representation is empowering. Stories are valuable, and you don’t have to be an internationally renowned figure to do great things.”ASHLEY 

 

“Carter G. Woodson said, ‘If you can control a man’s thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions. If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door… He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one.’ In other words, education is really the key to humanity. Black history is world history. By learning black history, a black child could learn to think beyond what they are told. They are learning that their history is more than slavery, civil rights, or the first Black President; but innovations and advancements in every aspect of life. Learning black history helps build understanding with the community regarding certain cultural norms, rituals, and ceremonies. You are more likely to build a relationship with someone who is different. You understand why women may wear their hair in certain styles and the importance behind it. For example, braids could represent what tribe you are from and your status within the tribe. In slavery, braids were used to store food (rice) when enslaved people were trying to escape. They were also used as a map of the escape route. Now, braids are used as a protective hairstyle, a tie to our culture, and a tribute to our ancestors. If more people learned this early in school, laws like the Crown Act, would not be necessary. Natural hair would be acceptable everywhere. What we learn today helps shape the future and impact generations to come. I remember sitting in history class during grade school and not really seeing myself. Of course, we were taught Martin Luther King, Jr. or Harriet Tubman, but that is where our education stopped. It seemed that all the history I was taught about my heritage was either enslavement or civil rights. James Baldwin described in 1963: ‘I began to be bugged by the teaching of American history, because it seemed that history had been taught without cognizance of my presence.’ It’s hard growing up and not seeing yourself in a positive light or the accomplishments of your community omitted from your educational journey. It makes you feel as though you do not belong and your presence is an inconvenience. So having a black history month and incorporating black history into the current history lessons would empower today’s youth to go and do great things. It would build confidence. It would make them feel as though they matter.”CHARMAINE

 

Reading and Listening to Black Stories

Below is a list of some reading (and listening) materials that were suggested by members of our Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all of the amazing literature, podcasts, films, and other creative works by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) so please take some time on your own to find some wonderful BIPOC stories to enjoy and learn from. 

Aligned with our mission, Apraxia Kids does not endorse any one resource. Rather, we share information so families and professionals can make informed choices for children with childhood apraxia of speech.

 

Kids Books (For kids 0-3):

A Letter to Amy by Ezra Jack Keats
Hi, Cat! by Ezra Jack Keats
I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison
Saturday written and illustrated by Oge Mora
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats

 

Grade School Books:

Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman
The Dancing Flamingos of Lake Chimichanga: Silly Birds by Karl Beckstrand
Don’t Forget Dexter by Lindsay Ward
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
The Quickest Kid in Clarksville by Pat Zietlow Miller
Stamped: Racism, Anti Racism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson
Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

 

Fiction Fantasy (Kids 9+):

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Book 1 Orisha Series)
Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi (Book 2 Orisha Series)

 

Fiction (Young Adults and Adults):

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ngozi
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I’m Not Dying With You Tonight by Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones
KINDRED by Octavia E. Butler
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

 

Historical Fiction:

Juneteenth by Ralph Ellison
Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

 

YouTube/PBS:

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates (PBS, 2013)
Black America since MLK: And Still I Rise with Henry Louis Gates (PBS, 2016)
The Black Panthers Vanguard of the Revolution (PBS, 2016)
Eyes on the Prize (PBS, 2006)
Freedom Riders (PBS, 2011)
Reconstruction: America after the Civil War with Henry Louis Gates (PBS, 2019)
Slavery By Any Other Name (PBS, 2012)
Soundtrack for a Revolution (PBS, 2011)

 

Documentaries:

America To Me (2018)
American Promise (2013)
Beyond Measure (2014)
13th (2016)

 

Podcasts: 

About Race with REni Eddo-Lodge
NPR: Code Switch
Nice White Parents: The New York Times
Pod to Save the People
The 1619 Project: The New York Times
The Diversity Gap

 

Articles:

Black History Month is for Everyone

Here’s what poet Amanda Gorman says about her speech and auditory issues

The Importance of Black History and Why it Should be Celebrated Beyond February

While I Have Your Attention by WFAA Staff

5 Reasons You Should Celebrate Black History Month

Great Picture Books on Black History

Favorite Books for Black History Month for Young Readers

Kids & Teens African American Booklists (From Toddlers to Teens)

February 1st marks the beginning of Black History Month; a full month celebrating all of the incredible historical contributions that Black people and communities have made to our country and to our world. We hope you will join Apraxia Kids during this month (and beyond) and learn from, listen to, and support our Black communities. 

 

Introducing the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force of Apraxia Kids!

Yes, February is dedicated to Black History Month, but we should take these lessons far beyond just this one month. That’s why Apraxia Kids is proud to announce that we have created our own Diversity & Inclusion Task Force! This group is composed of several Black parents of apraxia stars, as well as speech-language pathologists serving the Black and Spanish-speaking communities. Their personal experiences in the Black and apraxia communities will provide Apraxia Kids with the insight and guidance that is needed to ensure that our programs and services are as inclusive and accessible as possible. 

Apraxia Kids has spent the last several months listening to and learning from our wonderful and insightful Diversity & Inclusion Task Force members and we are excited to share some of those conversations and outcomes with you. But for now, we’d like to remind you of the commitment that Apraxia Kids made last year:

At Apraxia Kids, we believe that every child deserves a voice. Equality is one of the eight core values of Apraxia Kids, along with empathy and community. We continue to look more deeply into the diversity inside our own organization and its programs. We are committed to listening to, learning about, and supporting all children with apraxia and their families, regardless of the color of their skin, race, or culture. As an organization, we will prioritize building stronger relationships with Black professionals and Black families in the apraxia community.

 

As we look into the immediate future:

  • We are committed to listening to Black families and Black professionals impacted by childhood apraxia of speech.
  • We are committed to continually learning about the unique needs of the communities we serve.
  • We are committed to partnering with organizations to work collaboratively on providing resources for all underserved communities. 

 

We acknowledge that we have much to learn about racial disparities in accessing appropriate services for children of color with childhood apraxia of speech. We can do more; we will do more. 

 

Why is it important to learn and celebrate during Black History Month? (As told by members of our Diversity and Inclusion Task Force)

 

“It is important to educate ourselves on the contributions of various individuals, groups, societies, and also expand our appreciation for the humanities and cultures of the world. Diversity is critical in the development of a well-rounded society that embraces inclusion and welcomes all walks of life.” – RACHEL

 

“For a long time, many in America believed that African Americans had little to no presence in American history. Black history month is designed to draw attention to the stories of black Americans and our allies. Black history is American history. It is important for people to celebrate seeing themselves represented in the struggle for liberty, justice, and human rights. Representation is empowering. Stories are valuable, and you don’t have to be an internationally renowned figure to do great things.”ASHLEY 

 

“Carter G. Woodson said, ‘If you can control a man’s thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions. If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door… He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one.’ In other words, education is really the key to humanity. Black history is world history. By learning black history, a black child could learn to think beyond what they are told. They are learning that their history is more than slavery, civil rights, or the first Black President; but innovations and advancements in every aspect of life. Learning black history helps build understanding with the community regarding certain cultural norms, rituals, and ceremonies. You are more likely to build a relationship with someone who is different. You understand why women may wear their hair in certain styles and the importance behind it. For example, braids could represent what tribe you are from and your status within the tribe. In slavery, braids were used to store food (rice) when enslaved people were trying to escape. They were also used as a map of the escape route. Now, braids are used as a protective hairstyle, a tie to our culture, and a tribute to our ancestors. If more people learned this early in school, laws like the Crown Act, would not be necessary. Natural hair would be acceptable everywhere. What we learn today helps shape the future and impact generations to come. I remember sitting in history class during grade school and not really seeing myself. Of course, we were taught Martin Luther King, Jr. or Harriet Tubman, but that is where our education stopped. It seemed that all the history I was taught about my heritage was either enslavement or civil rights. James Baldwin described in 1963: ‘I began to be bugged by the teaching of American history, because it seemed that history had been taught without cognizance of my presence.’ It’s hard growing up and not seeing yourself in a positive light or the accomplishments of your community omitted from your educational journey. It makes you feel as though you do not belong and your presence is an inconvenience. So having a black history month and incorporating black history into the current history lessons would empower today’s youth to go and do great things. It would build confidence. It would make them feel as though they matter.”CHARMAINE

 

Reading and Listening to Black Stories

Below is a list of some reading (and listening) materials that were suggested by members of our Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all of the amazing literature, podcasts, films, and other creative works by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) so please take some time on your own to find some wonderful BIPOC stories to enjoy and learn from. 

Aligned with our mission, Apraxia Kids does not endorse any one resource. Rather, we share information so families and professionals can make informed choices for children with childhood apraxia of speech.

 

Kids Books (For kids 0-3):

A Letter to Amy by Ezra Jack Keats
Hi, Cat! by Ezra Jack Keats
I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison
Saturday written and illustrated by Oge Mora
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats

 

Grade School Books:

Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman
The Dancing Flamingos of Lake Chimichanga: Silly Birds by Karl Beckstrand
Don’t Forget Dexter by Lindsay Ward
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
The Quickest Kid in Clarksville by Pat Zietlow Miller
Stamped: Racism, Anti Racism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson
Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

 

Fiction Fantasy (Kids 9+):

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Book 1 Orisha Series)
Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi (Book 2 Orisha Series)

 

Fiction (Young Adults and Adults):

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ngozi
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I’m Not Dying With You Tonight by Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones
KINDRED by Octavia E. Butler
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

 

Historical Fiction:

Juneteenth by Ralph Ellison
Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

 

YouTube/PBS:

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates (PBS, 2013)
Black America since MLK: And Still I Rise with Henry Louis Gates (PBS, 2016)
The Black Panthers Vanguard of the Revolution (PBS, 2016)
Eyes on the Prize (PBS, 2006)
Freedom Riders (PBS, 2011)
Reconstruction: America after the Civil War with Henry Louis Gates (PBS, 2019)
Slavery By Any Other Name (PBS, 2012)
Soundtrack for a Revolution (PBS, 2011)

 

Documentaries:

America To Me (2018)
American Promise (2013)
Beyond Measure (2014)
13th (2016)

 

Podcasts: 

About Race with REni Eddo-Lodge
NPR: Code Switch
Nice White Parents: The New York Times
Pod to Save the People
The 1619 Project: The New York Times
The Diversity Gap

 

Articles:

Black History Month is for Everyone

Here’s what poet Amanda Gorman says about her speech and auditory issues

The Importance of Black History and Why it Should be Celebrated Beyond February

While I Have Your Attention by WFAA Staff

5 Reasons You Should Celebrate Black History Month

Great Picture Books on Black History

Favorite Books for Black History Month for Young Readers

Kids & Teens African American Booklists (From Toddlers to Teens)



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