Go check out the interview I did with Radix Media HERE.
Who is Radix? They are a worked owned printer and literary publisher that is unionized and eco conscious. Read more about them on their website and check out some of the zines, books, cards, posters, invitations, and pamphlets they print. Offset, letterpress, and digital!
This photo by my friend Tiffany Eng has been in rotation since 2013.
Pura Belpre was NYC’s first Puerto Rican librarian. She was a storyteller, educator, and a pioneer in library programming and learning for children. She was born in 1899 in Puerto Rico and came to the US in 1920. In 1921 she began working in the New York City public library system. She has been called a pioneer because of her outreach to the Latino community offering programming in spanish. She founded a mobile puppet company that went around the neighborhood performing her stories. She looked for and purchased books in spanish for the library when multicultural literature was not a thing. As a storyteller she brought stories from her country like “Perez y Martina” and shared them with the children uptown, while also translating them and publishing them in books for the first time. Because of the amazing work she did as an advocate for literacy and education in the community an award has been named in her honor by the American Library Association. I did not hear a single thing about Ms Belpre until I was in my 30’s. But, her dedication to engaging children and getting them to read inspires me. And I hope that more about her life is uncovered and that we as kids and adults learn about stories like hers. Check out the book “The Storyteller’s candle” and the documentary by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College called “Pura Belpre” https://vimeo.com/30837106
Sources: Wikipedia (website) and “Colorin Colorado” (blog)
A couple of years ago I saw a documentary about Marsha called “Pay it no mind”. I have always grown up around queer, gender fluid, gay, or bisexual adults and kids but I was surprised I’d not heard of Marsha until I was a parent myself. I hope you look her up and see what she did. She was out and proud at a time when there were no pride parades, no marches of support, and certainly few “out” people in popular media. Like so many queer or trans youth she had to leave her home. From what I hear it is because of death threats, disownment, teasing, ignorance, or just lack of understanding and support. Marsha moved to NYC . She was fabulous, extravagant, kind, supportive of other gay, trans, or queer youth and she was a homeless. She along with many folks set off what was to become the “Stonewall riot” and became an activist alongside Silvia Rivera and many others fighting for Gay rights, affordable medication for Aids patients, etc. Silvia and Marsha founded an organization called STAR-Street Transvestite and Revolutionary, the first organization to reach out to homeless trans youth. When we think of Black History Month all across the US, gay, bisexual, transgender folks are often invisible. I believe all black folks should be celebrated for their humanity and their achievements.