As part of its cultural competency initiative, the 100 Black Men of Austin and Black Pearl Books are doing something special for Black Future Month with author Chris Singleton, who has written two children’s books and will read them at various schools on Feb 17th and 18th.
The 100 Black Men of Austin is the local chapter of 100 Black Men of America, Inc., which consists of hundreds of chapters across the US. The Austin chapter was founded in 1995 to create an environment where Black men can grow and take an active role in improving their own quality of life; enhance the educational experience for Austin area African American youth through mentoring, and collaborate with other organizations to improve Austin for all constituents.
Black Pearl Books is the only Black-owned bookstore in Austin, founded in November 2019, as a pop-up shop at local vendor markets as well as an online store.
Katrina Brooks started with the goal to get more diverse books to people. She’s always been an entrepreneur; but when she saw a void in books by Black authors and Black stories in most bookstores nearby, she decided to do something about it.
Mrs. Brooks also wanted her children to have access to more books that told their stories and included people who looked like them.
Black Pearl Books focuses on diversity, inclusion, and representation of all races, religions, and ethnicities. Another goal is to promote and help facilitate childhood literacy. They’ve been in the new space since February 1st and have worked with 100 Black Men of Austin, Inc., previously for their cultural competency initiative.
Chris Singleton, public speaker, former MLB player, and owner of the brand Love Your Neighbor, is the author of Different and Your Life Matters.
He lost his mother in the Charleston church shooting in 2015. After that tragic loss, he wrote Different, a children’s book that teaches children to love one another, regardless of race, nationality, or religion.
His second children’s book, Your Life Matters, teaches children to stand against adversity and fight for the life of their dreams.
Mr. Singleton will spend 2 days with the 100 Black Men of Austin, Inc., starting with a visit to the Austin Public Library and an elementary school on Feb 17, and a book signing that evening at Black Pearl Books. Then, on Feb 18, they will tour multiple elementary schools, reading and giving away his books. They will also visit a local high school where Mr. Singleton will speak to their baseball team.