Friday, February 28, 2020

February #cbadspotlight - Spotlight on The Roots of Rap with Author Carole Boston Weatherford

Today I'm shining the spotlight on 
Carole Boston Weatherford,
author of #cbadspotlight pick 
THE ROOTS OF RAP: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip Hop
and also many other wonderful nonfiction titles including By and By: Charles Tindley, the Father of Gospel Music, Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library, Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You, How Sweet the Sound: The Story of Amazing Grace, Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America, Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins, Sibert Honor Book Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, and more.
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Explore the roots of rap in this stunning, rhyming, triple-timing picture book!

A generation voicing 

stories, hopes, and fears

founds a hip-hop nation.

Say holler if you hear.

The roots of rap and the history of hip-hop have origins that precede DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash. Kids will learn about how it evolved from folktales, spirituals, and poetry, to the showmanship of James Brown, to the culture of graffiti art and break dancing that formed around the art form and gave birth to the musical artists we know today. Written in lyrical rhythm by award-winning author and poet Carole Boston Weatherford and complete with flowing, vibrant illustrations by Frank Morrison, this book beautifully illustrates how hip-hop is a language spoken the whole world 'round, it and features a foreward by Swizz Beatz, a Grammy Award winning American hip-hop rapper, DJ, and record producer.

Thank you, Carole, for joining me for a #cbadspotlight post today!

Book Trailer

The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip Hop celebrates emceeing, deejaying, breakdancing and graffiti, and pays homage to rap’s originators. The book made lots of book of the year lists. And the illustrations by Frank Morrison, a former B-boy, won a Silver Award in the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show and a Golden Kite Honor from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
The Roots of Rap connects the genre to the African American oral traditions that came before it.
In the late 1970s, I was writing spoken word poetry for adults. When I revisit those poems, they read like rap. I didn’t realize that rap was more than just party music until “The Message,” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, hit the airwaves in 1982. I still consider “The Message”—with its biting social commentary—as the greatest rap song of all time.
Four decades later, hip hop still gives voice to marginalized urban youth and has become the language of global youth culture. Hip hop is vital to youthful expression and to the cultural history of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
That’s why educators should integrate hip hop in the curriculum. As poetry, it has musical qualities that help kids memorize concepts and build reading fluency.
Plus, rap resonates with students. Witness the fact that freestyling and rapping are almost a rite of passage—so much so that hip-hop dreams are surpassing hoop dreams among urban youth.
I hope that The Roots of Rap will not only usher hip hop into the classroom but will also inspire young wordsmiths to write their own raps. My website offers resources and a playlist for the book.
As teens, my own two children reintroduced me to hip hop. The Grammy Award-winning album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, is still a favorite. I now teach a hip hop course at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina, where I am a professor. And I tour K-12 schools with my son, award-winning children’s book illustrator Jeffery Weatherford—a rapper who upstages me every time.
Art by Jeffery Weatherford, a rapper and children’s book illustrator
Poet and children's book author Carole Boston Weatherford has authored more than 50 books, including three Caldecott Honor winners: Freedom in Congo Square, Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom. She received a Golden Kite and the Walter Award for Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library. Her latest releases are BOX: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom; The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip Hop and By and By: Charles A. Tindley, The Father of Gospel Music two-time NAACP Image Award winner, Weatherford is a professor at Fayetteville State University.

Be sure to check out all of the #cbadspotlight choices for this school year!
Visit for more information on #classroombookaday,
a goal to read aloud a picture book every day of the school year, at any grade,
inspired by Donalyn Miller's #bookaday.

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