Keonté Beals grew up in North Preston, went to a predominantly Black elementary faculty, however can’t bear in mind ever studying an image e-book and seeing a mirrored image of himself or somebody like him.
It’s completely different now for his youthful brother, Antonio, who’s in Grade 5 at Nelson Whynder Elementary – the identical faculty he went to as a toddler – however Beals is aware of that an actual want nonetheless exists for youths, each inside and outdoors his tight-knit neighborhood, to have the ability to open extra books and really feel proud after they see individuals who seem like them.
“It provides children a way of hope,” stated the singer, songwriter and winner of the African Nova Scotian Music Affiliation’s Artist of the 12 months 2020.
Beals and his brother just lately launched I Am Completely Me, a vibrant kids’s e-book they wrote collectively and self-published. They hope it would encourage kids all over the place to be assured in themselves and really feel empowered.
“We wish this e-book to encourage children of all races, sizes, genders and backgrounds to know that they’re stunning and that all the bizarre issues about them is what makes them who they’re,” they write. “Embrace who you’re. Self-love is crucial factor in life.”
I Am Completely Me opens with a younger Black lady, sitting in entrance of a bureau and mirror: “I really like my brown pores and skin and my stunning brown eyes. My curly black hair, with a poof simply the precise dimension.”
The brothers began the e-book in 2018. On the finish of some faculty days, they might sit collectively of their North Preston residence and brainstorm concepts, drawing from folks and experiences in their very own lives. Beals sketched all the images within the e-book with a pencil; he scanned them from his pocket book after which slowly and thoroughly colored them digitally on his cellphone.
Antonio’s favorite a part of the e-book depicts kids, of various colors, sitting on a college bus. He doesn’t take a bus to high school however likes the image as a result of it reminds him of enjoyable faculty journeys. He felt proud when his trainer just lately learn the e-book to his class, regardless that they didn’t say an excessive amount of.
“They’re simply enthusiastic about it,” stated Antonio.
I Am Completely Me is Beals’s first e-book, however writing isn’t new to him. A quiet, shy baby, one in all his favorite issues was writing books. As an adolescent, he transitioned into tune writing, composing his first tune at round age 13.
“As a natural-born storyteller, I wished to have the ability to inform my tales by no matter type of leisure I used to be impressed to take action in,” he stated.
When he’s not writing, performing or recording songs, Beals is operating the corporate he launched final fall, KBeals Leisure. I Am Completely Me is offered by his web site: keontebeals.com.
Beals and his youngest brother at the moment are busy doing digital creator visits and readings to varsities all through the province. They hope to be invited to do them lengthy after African Heritage Month is over.
“I didn’t anticipate all of the love,” stated Beals. “It provides me extra inspiration and vitality to maintain going.”
A Love Letter to Africville
Amanda Carvery-Taylor has compiled private tales and pictures from former residents of Africville in her new e-book, A Love Letter to Africville (Fernwood Publishing).
Born and raised in Halifax, Carvery-Taylor’s father grew up in Africville, and instructed her tales of the town’s once-vibrant Black neighborhood that was demolished within the Nineteen Sixties. Desirous to retain Africville’s wealthy historical past and focus not simply on the losses but additionally on the constructive components, formed her need to doc and have a good time the neighborhood. The e-book has been referred to as “a heat hug from one in all Canada’s most essential storied communities.”
Afua Cooper, Halifax’s former poet laureate, collaborated with photographer Wilfried Raussert to create Black Issues (Fernwood Publishing) – a e-book of poems and pictures targeted on experiences within the African diaspora throughout North America and Europe. A dialogue between photographs and textual content, Cooper interprets Raussert’s pictures into poetry.
Twenty-six native writers and artists contributed to Gathering In: COVID-19 Silver Linings (WindyWood Publishing) – an anthology specializing in constructive experiences of Nova Scotians through the provincial lockdown final spring and summer season. The e-book is a group of tales, memoirs, poems, lyrics, artwork and spoken-word poetry all created through the pandemic. It consists of a number of color photographs by South Shore artists Jennie McGuire and Beverley McInnes.
“Gathering In accommodates artistic silver linings impressed by defining moments inside and thru the clouds of isolation and worry and loss that we endure through the COVID-19 pandemic,” writes Pat Thomas, the e-book’s editor. “This assortment gives temporary glimpses into Nova Scotians’ depth, variety and resilience throughout powerful occasions.”
Authorities Home Halifax
Historian and creator Christopher McCreery takes readers on an illustrated tour of the historic constructing often known as the house of the sovereign’s consultant in Nova Scotia and the ceremonial residence of all Nova Scotians in his e-book, Authorities Home Halifax: A Place of Historical past and Gathering (Goose Lane Editions).
Starting with its development in 1800 and together with its in depth three-year renovation that led to 2009, the hardcover, 232-page e-book is crammed with tales of what has taken place contained in the constructing. Referred to as the oldest consecutively occupied residence in Canada, Authorities
Home has hosted Queen Elizabeth II on 5 events and is the place Joseph Howe died, surrounded by his spouse and son.