By Desiree Cueto and Dorea Kleker, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
African diaspora folklore, myths and legends have been passed down through oral traditions from generation to generation. A prominent figure in stories told across different African nations is that of the mermaid. The half human/half fish water spirit is referred to by different names depending on the specific African nation and unique cultures within. For example, Mami Wata is a deity whose story is told throughout different parts of West Africa. She is known for bestowing wealth and power as well as destruction. A similar figure, called Yemoja is known to the Yoruba people of Nigeria to be a giver of life, and La Sirene is a Haitian spirit of the sea. Over time, the oral stories of mermaids and sirens have been written and published throughout the world and have become the inspiration for several recent picture books and novels. This set of books features twelve books that center on Black mermaids and African mythology. Continue reading
Young people understand more than we give them credit for. Reading books about difficult topics allows them to think about strife in their lives before they have to face it.— Jewell Parker Rhodes
Today’s blog concludes a discussion by authors Ruta Sepetys, Jim Deem, and Jewell Parker Rhodes at the 2012 Tucson Festival of Books in March entitled “Confronting Difficult Life Events through Story.” In this section, the authors examine their feelings as they worked on books that contained difficult material, and what they are working on next.
by Ann Parker, Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona
I realized that the lowlands were always given to the poor, so naturally the Ninth Ward would flood.
“I’ll tell you what happened to me, but you have to promise never to use my name.”
. . . Kristallnacht was a blink in time . . .
Today’s blog continues the discussion between authors Ruta Sepetys, Jim Deem, and Jewell Parker Rhodes at the 2012 Tucson Festival of Books in March entitled “Confronting Difficult Life Events through Story.”