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Considerations for Early Childhood and Early Elementary Educators on Slavery and Resistance

The successful grassroots campaign that resulted in the recall of the children’s book A Birthday Cake for George Washington and the related critiques of A Fine Dessert have brought more people into the conversation about how and when to talk to young children about the history of enslavement of Africans in the United States. To support and …

When and How to Talk with Young Children about Enslavement: Discussion Questions for Educators

By Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards The successful, collective effort that resulted in the recall of A Birthday Cake for George Washington, a young children’s book that offered an inaccurate, sugarcoated version of the realities of slavery, brings up another important conversation for the early childhood community staff, families,  and social justice activists. This one is about when, …

Under Pressure, Scholastic Recalls Racist Children’s Book

By Deborah Menkart A firestorm erupted when Scholastic released a children’s book early this month, A Birthday Cake for George Washington, by Ramin Ganeshram and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, featuring smiling enslaved people baking a cake for George Washington.  The back cover portrayed George Washington and his enslaved chef, Hercules, arm-in-arm, like best buddies. The image …