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Sharon G. Flake
I’m not sure how the below YouTube clip from You Don’t Even Know Me by Sharon G. Flake came across my desk, but I’m glad that it did. The words paired with the speakers brings to the forefront a powerful statement. Our black men are being crucified before people even get to know them. They don’t know how wonderful smart, loyal, and all around amazing they are, because they’re too busy listening to what the news tells them to believe.
I came across one of Sharon Flake‘s book The Skin I’m In (written when I was a senior in high school) while working the Scholastic Book Fair several years ago, and I’ve been enthralled with her since. What made this book even more special is the fact that Mr. Houseful read it years ago while tutoring at a local school and shared with me his love for the characters and the ability to relate to what was going on within the story.
She writes about the gritty reality of being a young person in current times, and yes, her characters are usually strong black young people trying to find their purpose in the world just like we all did at some point of time in our lives.
Imagine my surprise when I saw a new book of hers that debuted at a book fair when Nathaniel was in grade school. The title is Pinned, and it follows two young children with handicaps of their own. One is visible, the other is not since it’s a learning disability.
I’m pretty lucky to be connected with Ms. Flake online, and she lives every bit of her author role every single day. Between talks at schools, libraries, and community organizations – she stays abreast of what’s happening in the real world and provokes conversation on her online platform as well. I’ve seen her donate her books to school libraries and challenge young students to try their hands at authorship. She’s encouraging and definitely one of the reasons that I love introducing my children to authors that look like us. As an example of black excellence, I’m asking that you take a closer look at Sharon G. Flake, and see if you can add more of her writing to your personal library.