Thank you, Mr. Floyd Cooper

This morning I woke up to the sound of rain.

I checked my email and all at once the rain became a symbol.

I read the Associated Press title twice: Children’s book illustrator Floyd Cooper, who painted positive images of Black History, dies at 65.

I was blessed to meet Mr. Cooper in Philadelphia at the African American children’s fair in 2019. After signing a couple of books for my class, he spoke very briefly about being an illustrator. I remember telling him about my students and the Nat King Cole lesson I was currently working on. He listened closely and even asked me to send him some of my work.

While we never got to work together, I am very happy I met such a wonderful individual who painted pictures of yesterday so our children of today could resonate with both worlds. I will keep his family in my prayers.

Ms. Tami Charles, Ms. Nikki Grimes and Mr. Floyd Cooper in 2019

Bookish Details around Philly

The main reason we went to Philadelphia is because of books….And when you travel because of books you are rarely let down. Stacy and I ended up in  Uncle Bobbie’s Shop, a book store in Germantown after visiting the Lest We Forget Slavery Museum.

Some of the books I came across that I made a note to purchase.

Below, Stacy and I smiling with Mrs. Ragsdale, the director of the Lest We Forget Slavery Museum. She gave us a very informative tour. The tour changed the way I see the world and how I see myself. Learning about the slave trade and the atrocities of it, did something to my joyous spirit for the rest of the weekend. Stacy kept asking me, What happened?

I realize when one begin to dig into history, one have to be ready for the good, the bad and the ugly. That was the first time I visited a museum and actually cried.


As mentioned before in a previous blog, we also visited the African American History Museum which was rich with history but a totally different experience.

Philadelphia prides itself in being the forerunner in Black Press. In 1884, Christopher Perry published the  Philadelphia Tribune making it the oldest black paper in the United States.  IMG_2324

The street newsstand…IMG_2315

Right before we ate, we caught the last few hours of the children’s book fair. Where we met authors and Illustrators, Nikki Grimes, Renee Watson, Carole Boston Weatherford, Eric Velasquez, Tami Charles and Floyd Cooper.


Authors and Illustrators


From left to right:

Javaka Steptoe, Carole Boston Weatherford, R. Gregory Christie, Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, Elizabeth Zunon, Floyd Cooper and Jeffery Boston Weatherford

Taken at the 25th Annual African American Children’s Book Fair