New Rochelle — My Brother’s Keeper collaborated with New Rochelle Public Library, City School District of New Rochelle, local organizations and houses of worship to launch “New Rochelle: All on the Same Page!” Saturday afternoon. My Brother’s Keeper of New Rochelle want to encourage reading and book discussions throughout the city. Goals will be accomplished with this initiative. The aim is for students to be on grade reading level by grade three, community residents to encourage students, and build a culture of a city that love to read, love to talk about reading, and love to share books.
New Rochelle was the first municipality of Westchester County to accept President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper challenge. New Rochelle Councilman Jared Rice spoke about his commitment which started in April of 2015.
“We started in 2015 and continued the goal set forth for all young people,” Councilman Rice tells BW. “The goal is for them to be able to reach their potential life. We have several literacy projects in New Rochelle. Books in barber shops, books in laundromats, and the future vision to open a library at Grace Houses.”
New Rochelle High School Principal, Reggie Richardson is also a part of MBK New Rochelle, were invited to the MBK National Summit at the White House with the forty-fourth President Barack Obama, Wednesday, Dec 14th.
“New Rochelle was the first to accept the challenge,” Richardson shared with BW. “New York State was the first state to become a My brothers keepers state. And I would like to thank Dr Lester Young who pioneered to get it across the state of New York.”
Principal Richardson and Councilman Rice joined for together for the vision of New Rochelle: All on the Same Page! They had a conversation about books that made and impact in their lives. Part of the vision is facilitating conversations around the city with children who can be transformed thru pages.
The theme owning your greatness is embedded in the list of books New Rochelle will be embrace. Both Rice and Richardson read “The Short & Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for Ivy League”, by Jeff Hobbs (suitable for high school and adults). Excited about the impact of a true story written by a friend. Richardson and Rice added Jeff Hobbs book to the list. Hobbs spoke to the room of interested adults and children. He stated,
“Robert was my best friend in college for four years. He guided me as we sat around and talked about girls, foods, sports, and life. Conversations continued to be genuine once we graduated. He resided in Newark, New Jersey it wasn’t Disneyland, but it was home. He was later on shot twice and killed by mask men in Newark, New Jersey in a basement surrounded with weed. ”
“He was only in his twenties when the world learned of him. I wanted to make sure that I not only shared the story of this global icon, but was important to celebrate young people’s leadership.” The third daughter of Malcolm X was present. As an author of “X: A Novel” Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon (suitable for middle school and older students/adults).
As an adjunct professor at John Jay College she wants her students to be able to participate in mainstream society. Ilyasah believes in self love, identity, literacy, comparison and care. “We talk about this black Lives Matter movement. It is not a black or white it is a wrong or right. Humanity. If we see injustice and turn our back then we too shall be held accountable. And I think that it is important that our children understand that as well.” Many held onto each word unwritten by the daughter of a hero as she continued. She spoke of her father as a young man who saw his father killed by the KKK. And then his mother placed in the mental institution. It was common during the Jim Crow Era to place women in mental institutions.
Shabazz stated that her dad confronted himself while in prison. This was a conscious transformation of a man. She spoke about the inaccuracy of media contributions that society portray of Blacks. “Society dictated that my grandfather Malcolm’s dad did not love him. But, once my father accepted the fact that his father did all that he could do to love him despite the Jim Crow, despite being murdered, and despite not being present to protect him; Malcolm changed his journey.”
New Rochelle: All on the Same Page books to read:
(1) “The Short & Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for Ivy League”, by Jeff Hobbs (suitable for high school and adults) $10.00
(2) “X: A Novel” Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon (suitable for middle school and older students/adults) $7.00
(3) “Trombone Shorty” by Troy Andrews (suitable for grades 3 to 5) $15.00
(4) “Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt de la Pena (suitable for grades Pre-K to 2) $10.00
The Friends of NRPL Bookstore is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm for purchases.
Are you in the mood of giving books? Purchase 10 books and either share with friends of families or donate it back to My Brother’s Keeper. Remember love to read, love to talk about reading, and love to share books.