In 2022, Spelman alumna, social entrepreneur and author Veronica N. Chapman founded Black Children’s Book Week (BCBW), a global celebration of Black children and the power of Black representation in children’s books. Always beginning on the last Sunday in February, during the week people around the world host events, both virtual and in person, to celebrate Black children and the power of positive representation in children’s books and other media.
In addition to BCBW, Veronica’s reach also extends into the online world with her launch of the Black Children’s Book Museum. Located in the Metaverse, the museum is a shoppable virtual museum that features the books authored or published by Black Children’s Book Week sponsors. The museum exhibits are dynamic and engaging, using avatars to give visitors the feeling of walking through a brick and mortar museum. While inside, visitors can learn about and purchase books to support the sponsors of this necessary celebration, who are primarily Black authors who are intentional about publishing books with Black characters.
When asked why Black children’s books and characters matter, Veronica said, “Publishing children’s books with Black protagonists is a form of activism because it ensures that Black children see themselves represented so they can develop both a love for reading and for themselves. Representation matters because it is a protective force, as research shows that increased self-esteem is one of its positive impacts.”
If you missed this year’s celebration, don’t worry, because parents, educators, and all advocates for Black children are invited to celebrate Black Children’s Book Week for years to come. Until then, visit the Black Children’s Book Museum, and be sure to join this impactful celebration that invites us all to “stand in our power and work collectively to ensure that Black Children feel seen, affirmed, and loved.”
To learn more about Black Children’s Book Week and join the newsletter to stay informed, visit https://blackbabybooks.com/bcbw, and follow Black Children’s Book Week on Instagram (@blackchildrensbookweek). The Black Children’s Book Museum is open 24/7, year-round. Visit www.blackchildrensbookmuseum.org to tour the museum, and to learn more.