Black: A New Everett Cafe Book Display

| January 17, 2017

BlackI was a little more than shocked when a promising, young Southern researcher, in her pursuit of archival materials on the College’s educational involvement in Peru, asked if I happened to know “when Columbia. specifically Teachers College, was officially desegregated.” What?! Segregation at Teachers College seemed to me a very foreign concept, indeed one that was at odds with the progressive, open minded mission, as I always understood it, of our institution. I cited some well known examples (there existed a Negro Education Club in the 1920s; Mable Carney, Teachers College alumna and Head of the Department of Rural Education, 1917-1941, advocated for race relations; Marion Thompson Wright was the first Black historian to receive a doctorate at Columbia in 1941)  — and was thanked profusely — to the tune of, “That’s exactly the answer I needed!”

Another researcher, by the name of Ilya Washington, stopped by the library last Spring. He enthusiastically proposed doing a book display connected to his work and, with great excitement, I suspected we were on to something. It joined art, writing, children, and citizenry. Discussions and title selections panned out over the summer, as Ilya conferred with his peers and narrowed down the list of possibilities. He settled on great examples of timeless children’s works by leading Afro-American writers and illustrators … then came the closure of the first and second floors, due to the installation of the new sprinkler system which put a hold on proceedings… We took another deep breath.

Now, into January, it is with great anticipation and appreciation that Black: Children’s Artists, Children’s Books colorfully graces the shelf, representing the second student-curated Everett Cafe book display. What better time than early to mid Winter, following World as Classroom?

Black_Ilya“I believe, even the best teachers cannot teach what they do not know. As the demand for culturally responsive teaching materials and practice increases, we expect socially engaged and informed content to match this growth. My intent simply is to increase awareness of culturally responsive and critical creative teaching pedagogy in Art; promote titles and resources that forefront the experiences of people of color in Art; and expose the general education community of Arts integration resources that emphasize creativity and Social Action.”
— Curator’s Statement

IlyaIlya Benjamin-Washington is currently an Ed.M student in Art and Art Education, within the Department of Art and Humanities at Teachers College, Columbia University, and he will be graduating in May 2017. Ilya is the Founding Creative Director of Black, an arts-based think tank promoting critical exchanges of the radical imagination, as it applies to visual culture across diasporas. Ilya is also the creative director for  #Wearewelcomehere, which applies arts-based and visual methodologies to investigate how creative peacemaking, modified with Critical Race Theory, can enrich campus community climate, and increase inter-school and discipline collaboration at Columbia University. #WeAreWelcomehere has an official student chapter at Teachers College.

Black: Children’s Artists, Children’s Books features classic works of children’s literature that highlight beloved authors, illustrators, themes, and concerns. It is on display through February, Black History Month.



Anderson, David A. The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth. Illus. by Kathleen Atkins Wilson. Mt. Airy, MD.: Sights Productions, 1991.

Cafe PS3551.N35843 O75 1991


Life_Doesn't_Frighten_MeAngelou, Maya. Life Doesn’t Frighten Me. Illus. by by Jean-Michel Basquiat. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1993.

Cafe PS3551.N464 L54 1993



Freight_TrainCrews, Donald. Freight Train.  New York: Tupelo Books, an imprint of William Morrow, 1996.

Cafe PZ7.C8682 Fr 1996



Ten_Black_DotsCrews, Donald. Ten Black Dots. New York: Greenwillow Books, c1986.

Cafe PZ8.3.C867 Te 1986




Harlem_StompHill, Laban Carrick. Harlem Stomp! : A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance. New York : Little, Brown, c2003.

Cafe E185.6 .H515 2003




Hill, Laban Carrick. Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave. Illus. by Bryan Collier. New York: Little, Brown, 2010.

Cafe NK4210.D247 H55 2010





Hughes, Langston. Black Misery. Ills. by Arouni. New York: Oxford University Press, [1994], 1969.

Cafe PS3515.U274 B5 1994



Sweet_and_SourHughes, Langston. The Sweet and Sour Animal Book. Illus. by Students of the Harlem School of the Arts. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Cafe PS3515.U274 S94 1994



Gassire's_LuteJablow, Alta. Gassire’s Lute: A West African Epic.  Illus. by Leo and Diane Dillon. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1971

Cafe PZ8.3.J125 Gas



Wave_in_her_PocketJoseph, Lynn. A Wave in Her Pocket. Illus. by B. Pinkney. New York: Clarion Bks, 1991.

Cafe PZ8.1.J76 Wav 1991




Yagua_Days2Martel, Cruz. Yagua Days. Illus. by Jerry Pinkney. New York : Dial Press, c1976.

Cafe PZ7.M356757 Yag 1976




Black_SnowmanMendez, Phil. The Black Snowman. Illus. by Carole Byard. New York: Scholastic, 1991, 1989.

Cafe PZ7.M52535 Bl 1991




YummyNeri, Greg. Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty. Illus. by Randy DuBurke. New York : Lee & Low Books, c2010.

Cafe F548.9.N4 N47 2010



Marcia2Steptoe, John. Marcia. New York: Puffin Books, 1991, 1976.

Cafe PZ7.S8367 Mar 3 1991




Children_of_PromiseSullivan, Charles. Children of Promise: African-American Literature and Art for Young People. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1991.

Cafe PZ5 .C43546 1991



Faith_RinggoldTurner, Robyn Montana. Faith Ringgold: Portraits of Women Artists. Boston : Little, Brown, 1993.

Cafe N6537.R55 T87 1993



At the Everett News Cafe, you’ll find a new book collection every few weeks that relates to current affairs, education, or learning environments.