Nkechi Taifa is a civil and human rights attorney and scholar-activist. She is president of The Taifa Group and serves as Senior Fellow at the Center for Justice at Columbia University. She is a nationally recognized commentator and subject matter expert on race and justice.
As it goes, to be Black and relatively conscious is to be in a rage all the time. At a time that banning swaths of American history are electoral rallying cries, re-centering the needs and imaginations of Black children are the principal goals of our time.
Nkechi Taifa’s children’s books are an ode to imagination and possibilities. This holiday season, consider gifting one or all these books to the young people in your life.
Shining Legacy: Storypoems for the Young, So Black Heroines Forever Will Be Sung, recently republished after a ban, celebrates the past through celebrates the past through epic, ballad, legend and saga, all accentuated with rhyme. Role models range from Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Sojourner Truth—to Malcolm X, Denmark Vesey, Toussaint L’Ouverture, Paul Robeson and Marcus Garvey.
Three Tales of Wisdom follows the journey of three young people—Ayanna, helped by Anansi’s magic to get to the Harvest Festival despite the failings of her two sisters; a young brother growing up in New York City learning the story of the might Marcus Garvey; and, Jabari’s quest for wisdom through a proverb-rich journey featuring both people and animals.
The Adventures of Kojo and Ama follows friends and Sheba the Cat as they learn more about the great people that came before them. Richly colored These seven short stories include exercises that strengthen basic reading and comprehension skills. They also help educate learners about discrimination in society. They illustrate the importance of safety and caution while exploring values centered around purpose, pride, responsibility, self-esteem, and unity.