Who is Jason Reynolds?
Jason Reynolds is an award-winning Young Adult author who challenges middle and high school students to to view American Life with a different lens. Reynolds takes all that we thought we knew and asks us "is this truly a fact?" His writing makes you think, challenges your view points, and dares you to look in the mirror. As an adult, rarely do I find an author that challenges me on so many levels yet has me entwined so deeply in the story that I cannot put the book down. I must turn the page to see what he will say next.
His captivating writing style explains why he holds such titles as National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature, Newbery Honor recipient, NAACP Image Award Winner, and 2016 National Book Award winner. Jason Reynolds has brought to life non-fiction in such a way that students are beginning to read more. I wish their were more authors like him.
If you are anything like me, one you have finished reading Stamped, you will be looking for more to read by Jason Reynolds. The links above should help get you started. I highly recommend these books for your classroom library. Elementary Teachers... we can read this but sadly they are too challenging for our students.
The History of Racism
Jason Reynolds takes you on a 600 year journey beginning in 1415 through the issue of racism in America. He takes the information we have learned in classrooms about individuals, movements, and events and adds commentary. Not to change it but to share a different perspective on the same things we thought we knew all the facts about.
So many of the questions we ask, he answers. Why did slavery begin? How did we go from slavery to freedom to racism? Why is there a "War on Drugs?" Why do #Blacklivesmatter? What is a racist? Are all people racist? If you ever had any of these or other questions, read the book.
Racism isn't necessarily a person issue but rather a policy issue. We need these laws and policies to change if we want this issue to really be a problem in the past. The question is, according to Reynolds, how can we change these policies when they are part of the fabric of our culture?
Race in the Classroom
Teachers can't possibly be racist. Can they? I always believed this but then research tells us that there are teachers who are racist. Perhaps they are unaware, I pray it isn't intentional but alas we know it happens. How? The educational gap between races prove their is a problem. We have heard of issues with discipline between the races.
Then again, perhaps it isn't the teacher but rather the policies that are once again the issue. What do you think?