Race, Poverty, Homelessness and Disability in Children's Books

Tiny - Posted on 08 February 2018

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 1:01pm - 3:01pm


Race, Poverty and Disability in children's book for all ages

Poverty & Disability Scholars, Leroy F. Moore Jr. & Lisa “Tiny” Gray Garcia of POOR Magazine release revolutionary children’s books.

What: Release and Readings of two Revolutionary Children's Books on issues of poverty, disability, displacement and homelessness
Where and When
Sun, Feb 18th 1-3pm SF Main Branch Library-100 Larkin st SF - Koret Room- (with Poet Laureate Kim Shuck)

SF Poet Laureate Kim Shuck speaks with Leroy Moore and Lisa Tiny Gray-Garcia who are both revolutionary poets, published authors, teachers and what they call poverty skolaz aka survivors of ableism, poverty/homelessness, police harassment and in Leroy's case, racial  profiling. They are also members and co-founders of POOR Magazine and Homefulness- a homeless peoples, self-determined solution to homelessness. This year they have both put these powerful books out for use by teachers, parents and children who hope to teach their children about people and communities like theirs who are criminalized and marginalized and targeted in this society.

Details about the books:
El Trabajador/The Hard-Worker
A bi-lingual children's book about a disabled, houseless recycler and a visionary young boy hopes to be a message for us all

"The hard worker is a love letter of interdependence, empathy and liberation written to all children, elders, mamaz and daddys, uncles and aunties, grandmothers and grandfather poverty/disability skolaz everywhere, " said The Hardworker's author Tiny (Lisa) Gray-Garcia, who is also the author of Criminal of Poverty, Growing Up Homeless in America, co-founder of POOR Magazine, PeopleSkool and Homefulness- a poor peoples solution to homelessness.
After struggling through her own childhood of extreme poverty, homelessness (houselessness as tiny calls it) and eventual incarceration for "poverty crimes" Tiny and her mother launched POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE, the poor and indigenous people-led movement dedicated to providing media, art, education, advocacy and solutions to issues of poverty, homelessness, racism, criminalization, ableism and displacement across Mama Earth.
When Tiny had her Sun, she and her multi-generational indigenous family became homeless again, due to gentrification's impact on the Bay Area' housing crisis causing her to feel the immense pain of raising a child while struggling to stay safe. It was then that she began to write her first in a series of "revolutionary children's books.
"As a teacher, formerly houseless single parent, gentrification surivor and media producer I know first-hand the desperate need for conscious books and curriculum that deal with poverty, homelessness, ableisn and racism, I see this book and all my books as prayers for hope, love and overstanding in a time when so many of us are in deep struggle," said Tiny
Excerpt From Tiny's introduction...
The book's character of Sr, Garcia is loosely based on my abuelo (grandfather) Roberto from Puerto Rico and Richard X from POOR Magazines Volume 3 The Work Issue – both hard-working disabled men of color who humbly did what they had to do to survive and struggled with lives filled with racist, classist and ableist hate. This story is also a love letter to what used to our barrio, The Mission District, and to all the anti-displacement warriors, who like us at POOR Magazine for so many years,  continue to fight for its life and wont give up and finally the Lisjan /Ohlone land called Huchuin aka East Oakland, which is facing the next huge wave of removal and displacement and which we folks at POOR Magazine are refusing to let happen with the launch of a deGentrificaiton Zone.
The illustratrations of this beautiful book were also an act of liberation and resistance as both artists are poverty skolaz, Asian Robles, nephew of the famous peoples poet Al Robles and Jose VIllareal a survivor of Pelican Bay Secured Housing Unit and member of the Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers who also wrote and illustrates for POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE

The Hardworker/Trabajador Fuerte is published by POOR Press which is the publishing arm of POOR Magazine- a press dedicated to the books of low and no-income authors. Books are available for review  by emailing poormag@gmail.com

Black Disabled History 101
Black disabled and Deaf artists have always  existed. They were on the street corners down South siging the Blues, spray painting on New York’s subways, and bringing sign language to the big screen.  Today, young Black disabled artists are finding their own way to the stage and studio, some with a paintbrush in hands and on the big screen like Kei’Arie “Cookie” Tatum, and some with a drumstick in their hands, like Vita E. Cleveland.  As a Black disabled youth in the 1970’s and 1980’s, I wished that there was a book like the one you are holdig now.  No more wishing -the book is here!

Black Disabled Art History 101- Children’s Book covers Black painters, dancers, musicians, actors/actress with all types of disabilities from early 1900’s to today.  Black Disabled Art History 101 has picures of the artists and illistration drawings from Asian Robles and original poem-stories of Black disabled artists and a poem that started the whole concept of the book, Black Disabled Art History 101 all by Leroy F. Moore Jr.

Xóchitl Justice Press creates diverse and educationally sound, non-fiction children’s books to support the intellectual, affective, aesthetic, and social development of the whole child. The press promotes a just and equitable society through publishing, community partnerships, education, and research.

Leroy F. Moore Jr. is a Black writer, poet, hip-hop\music lover, community activist and feminist with a physical disability. He has been sharing his perspective on identity, race & disability for the last thirteen years or so. He is also the creator of Krip-Hop Nation (Hip-Hop artists with disabilities and other disabled musicians from around the world) and produced Krip-Hop Mixtape Series.  He is one of the founders of The National Black Disability Coalition (NBDC).  He is also a longtime columnist, one of the first columns on race & disability that started in the early 90’s at Poor Magazine in San Francisco  www.poormagazine.org, Illin-N-Chillin.  In 2014, San Francisco Bayview Newspaper named Leroy, Champion of Disabled People in the Media on Black Media Appreciation Night.

 Leroy has won many awards for his advocacy from the San Francisco Mayor’s Disability Council under Willie L. Brown to the Local Hero Award in 2002 from Public Television Station, KQED in San Francisco.

“Leroy Moore is an uncle and teacher to me. I am blessed to have him teach me and my friends at Deecolonize Academy, a school for low-income and disabled youth who suffered at public schools. This book was inspiring because it showed that people  with disabilities have their own history, art and activism.  It taught me even  through oppression  people with disabilities have add to the  world including arts and so much more.” Tiburcio Garcia- Youth Skola from Deecolonize Academy/POOR Magazine



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