In the wake of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the community's outrage, the creators of ABC Me Flashcards, California teachers Leilani Brooks and Stevi Meredith have responded by sending over two dozen sets of cards to the Ferguson Municipal Public Library and local schools in the area.
The company was created to uplift young children of color with educational tools. As Leilani Brooks describes the birth of the company in a Facebook interview, " "It was the night of the Trayvon Martin verdict. I was sick to my stomach and could hear the sounds of protesters gathered at the bottom of the hill from my bedroom window. I thought of how the imagery of young black men contributed to this murder. I wondered how as a mother of a black son I was to teach him of the complexities and injustice of this world and yet preserve his innocence. But then I thought to teach him the opposite. Not the ways of this world but the possibilities afforded to him by those who paved the way before him. I was to teach him that great things are expected of him. Not that the odds are stacked against a brother, but rather hand him a stack of proven successes 26 to be exact from A-Z. Because we have to do better." The flashcards she created have inspiring messages for young children on African American history.
She further explained in an Huffington Post article, " Children have plenty of time in which to find out how ugly this world can be. We only have a small window to build them up and inspire them"
“The biggest challenge facing black children to day is the media. We cannot afford to allow our children to derive their self image from the images the dominant culture chooses to share… We must build our children up, empower them with their history, and inspire them to be great.” “The biggest challenge facing black children to day is the media. We cannot afford to allow our children to derive their self image from the images the dominant culture chooses to share… We must build our children up, empower them with their history, and inspire them to be great. It's important to educate our children about their past rich with people who did not see lack of opportunity as a reason to give up," Brooks said. "ABC Me Flashcards inspire and empower children to build on their past as they set goals for the future.”
Visit the ABC Me website for more information about the flashcards, or follow Brooks and Meredith on Facebook and Twitter.