On February 23, Lower and Middle Division students and teachers attended a virtual assembly featuring writer Angela Joy, author of the new children’s book Black is a Rainbow Color, and then welcomed her for virtual class visits. All students had read Ms. Joy’s book as part of their observance of Black History Month.

During the assembly, Ms. Joy spoke about what “color” can mean— it can be both a skin tone and a culture. She discussed what being Black means to her and her family. She also spoke about her desire to increase the representation of People of Color in children’s literature, describing how that dream drove her to write. She explained how powerful it is for young people to see characters who look like them in the books they read. She then read the entirety of her book aloud and explained the intricate meaning of the book’s illustrations (created by Ekua Holmes).

After the assembly Ms. Joy encouraged students to reflect on their own “rainbow color,” and she joined in discussions with students to talk about color and culture, as well as answer questions about her work.

Before her visit, Ms. Joy posed a question for students to ponder: “What shade do you shine?” In response, students created poetry and works of art. All lower and middle division students wrote haikus about a “rainbow color,” and students in PK to Grade 2 wrote or drew books based on their experience with the story, while students in Grades 3 to 8 explored their dreams for the future.