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Montreal author, community activist launches new book on Black history

Click to play video: 'Montreal author, community leader launches new book on Black history' Montreal author, community leader launches new book on Black history
WATCH: Akilah Newton talks about her new children's book, featuring prominent figures from Black Canadian history. – Jan 25, 2021

Montreal community leader and author Akilah Newton has just released her third children’s book.

Entitled Movers, Shakers, History Makers: The Canadian Black History Book of Rhymes, the book takes a look at some prominent figures in Black history across the country.

The idea for Newton’s latest work came after she realized her previous Big Dreamers activity books, while popular with schools and community centres, weren’t being carried by libraries.

“I was getting a lot of pushback from libraries because they said although they like the content, they can’t carry activity books because kids write in them,” Newton explained.

Read more: West Island high school grad calls out Quebec for lacking Black history education in schools

When she realized it was an issue, Newton quickly came up with a solution.

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“I’m going to come out with a full-colour children’s storybook which features the same people from volume one,” she said.  “But instead of just a paragraph with content, it’s really fun rhymes.”

Newton’s goal is to make the new book more easily accessible and introduce more young readers to Black history.

“I hope the book is you know picked up across Canada and even internationally,” she said.

Read more: Promoting social change through the arts during Black History Month

And while children are the intended audience, it’s not off limits to adults.

“Although it is geared towards children a lot of adults have actually told me that they learn a lot while reading the books to their children,” Newton said.

“So I hope all kids across Canada have a copy in their hands eventually.”

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— With files from Global News’ Anne Leclair

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