Sweet Blackberry recently visited the children of Liberty Elementary School in Valley Cottage, New York for a special movie screening and activity. Special thanks to Third Grade Teacher Deborah Barnes who assisted with coordination of the visit and Principal Ellen Rechenberger.
After our visit, Sweet Blackberry was overwhelmed by the amount of "thanks" we received from Liberty Elementary's amazing students. Check out the beautiful thank you notes they shared below.
We were so glad to be able to meet your students and share the stories of inspirational Americans of African decent. Can't wait to see you all again.
By: Kamichi Jackson
It’s National Poetry Month and we’re putting the spotlight on one of the coolest and kid-friendliest writers ever: New York Times Bestselling and Newberry Award-winning author Kwame Alexander. Kwame is currently on tour with his latest release The Playbook, a collection of basketball rules for life. Classrooms and reading groups around the country are praising his book as “inspiring”, “stirring” and “earnest”.
But Kwame has been motivating readers long before this most recent release. He comes from a creative family and wrote his very first poem when he was just twelve years old. In college, his love for poetry grew under the guidance of his college professor, award-winning poet laureate Nikki Giovanni. Fast-forward several years, and Kwame has captured the hearts of millions of fans around the world with his twenty-four published books, several of which have won prestigious awards along the way.
As much as he loves poetry, though, Kwame doesn’t limit himself to that one form of storytelling. He also writes traditional literature. And since no writer can truly call themselves a writer unless they encourage kids to read and write, Kwame is also an advocate for literacy and creative writing—even holding literacy camps for kids and designing writing curriculum for teachers to use in the classroom.
Kwame is a funny, engaging, talented author and educator. Get to know him better during this year’s National Poetry Month by visiting his website at www.kwamealexander.com and following him on tour via Twitter (@kwamealexander).
Be sure to check out Kwame's The Playbook through Sweet Blackberry's Amazon Smile offering by clicking on the image below.
By: Sweet Blackberry
In February, our friends at the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston, Massachusetts screened Sweet Blackberry's animated films on Henry "Box" Brown, Janet Collins and Garrett Morgan to their your library go-ers during their "February Vacation Week."
Throughout the week, children were able to also able to see the Harvard Passus Stepping team lead a demonstration and learn about historic African American fraternities and sororities, create writer and illustrator Ashley Bryan inspired puppets and even color Jean-Michel Basquiat inspired illustrations.
Thanks to the staff at Mary Baker Eddy Library for sharing images of this amazing event with us. These ideas are truly amazing and we deeply appreciate you including Sweet Blackberry among your Black History Month activities.
Check out the images from the event below!
Later in February, our producer and videographer Kiino Villand spent the morning with the fabulous young dancers of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, and filmed a class taught by the legend herself. You can see the dancers as well of an exclusive interview with Ms. Allen in Dancing in the Light!
Also in February, select backers of the Janet Collins Kickstarter campaign enjoyed their incentive: A group selected episode of Fresh Prince was screened in the swanky Dick Clark Productions screening room, and on screen siblings Karyn Parsons (Hilary) and Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton) answered trivia questions and dispelled behind-the-scenes rumors.
In April 2015, we held a launch party featuring the world premiere of Sweet Blackberry’s latest animated short film that celebrates legendary prima ballerina, Janet Collins. Echoing the sentiments of Carmen De Lavallade, notable dancer and Janet’s first cousin, many hearts were full after the screening. Alvin Starks and Aisha Diori were gracious hosts at the Schomburg Center in New York City, and WholeFoods was a generous sponsor. Guests were also excited to meet Yaël Tamar Lewin, author of the 2015 biography Night’s Dancer: The Life of Janet Collins. It’s always fun meeting so many new friends of Sweet Blackberry!