My dad—technically a refugee from East Pakistan (now
Bangladesh)—became a harbor engineer, traveled far and wide, stood in the
presence of Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Queen
Elizabeth, and settled his family in California when I was in the seventh grade.
He died this year, and I’m grieving hard, mourning the loss of his humor,
loving company, and joyful spirit. I also miss his stories of Poshora, the
village where seven generations of my family lived on a jute farm. Thanks to
Dad’s deep roots in that particular place, no matter how people saw us, we
didn’t identify ourselves as Asian-Americans, Indian-Americans, or even
Bengali-Americans. I knew as a child that the Bose family was from Poshora in Faridpur, East Bengal.The problem is that now, without Dad’s witty, adept use of
the Bangla language, recitations of Tagore’s poetry, and reminiscences from his
childhood, it feels like the hyphen connecting my identities has taken a blow.
Will it be fatal? My parents’ shift from country to country—something that I
didn’t choose—has already cost me, leaving me to grow up far away from a
supportive network of relatives and grandparents. Dad’s life and stories
provided my particular connection to that faraway village in East Bengal. With
Dad gone, will I tilt even more to the American side?
How to Talk to Kids About Race: Books That Can Helpreadbrightly.com
“While “I don’t see color” may come from a well-meaning place, studies show that it more likely does a great deal of harm. If we look closer, we often find that much of our reluctance to address race directly stems from our tendency to want to avoid discomfort. Yeah, it’s hard to talk about why #BlackLivesMatter has become a rallying cry, the legacy of our government’s relationship with its Native citizens, or why some individuals are called “illegal” and “alien.” Clinical psychologist, author, and professor Beverly Tatum asks us to “Think about these stereotypes, these omissions, these distortions as a kind of environment that surrounds us, like smog in the air. We don’t breathe it because we like it. We don’t breathe it because we think it’s good for us. We breathe it because it’s the only air that’s available.” – Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich in Brightly
Candlewick Press Publicist Jamie Tan, with questions provided by summer
marketing and publicity intern Melissa Lee:
As someone who’s spent
a couple years trying to figure out the right career path, it didn’t dawn on me
to consider publishing until I began blogging and reviewing. What about publishing appealed to you?
My mother says I have been entranced with books as soon as I
learned how to hold objects. The idea of getting to work with them was
tantalizing – almost a privilege more than an occupation. As a kid I had no
idea what kind of publishing jobs were out there, but I knew I wanted to make
books and read to my heart’s content…and somehow get paid for it.
Since high school, I have
been determined to pick a career that wouldn’t have me ending up in a cubicle
feeling miserable. Not everyone is able to do what they love as their career.
Though watching you, you seem to love being a publicist. What about being a
publicist gets you up and out of bed every morning?
Easily, the people. I actually love working in my cubicle
because I’m right next to some of the best people I know – incredibly
intelligent people who can talk about everything from critical theories to
promo items to the proper care of mint plants. I’m a really social person, and
I don’t know what I would do without my co-workers nearby! I also work with
some of the most pleasant authors and illustrators I’ve ever met, so not only
do I want to keep my job, I want to make sure that these people get their work