A Message from Karyn

We hope that you're remaining in good health during this time. Next Saturday, Sweet Blackberry will be hosting a live stream of our Bessie Coleman film and we'd love for you all to join. Read below to find out how you can tune in to this free event. There will be a Q&A after the screening. 

Similar to last month's newsletter, we have provided a few at-home activities below. This includes many Black history-focused activities that are located on our website and DIY activities from parenting blogs. We are working to have a handful of new educational activities posted on our website each month. We are also working to have our films available through streaming platforms and hope to have an update for you soon. 

If you're interested in sharing some of the activities you've done at home recently with the kids, please share at admin@sweetblackberry.org. 

All the best,

Livestream Flying Free: The Bessie Coleman Story 

Join us next Saturday, May 2 at 2 pm ET/ 11 am PT for a live screening of Sweet Blackberry's latest film, Flying Free:The Bessie Coleman Story on our Facebook page

Following the film, our founder, Karyn Parsons will conduct a Q&A for viewers. 

Flying Free follows tells the story of Bessie Coleman, the first African American woman to earn her pilot's license. Bessie grew up during a time when aviation schools in the United States would not teach a Black woman to fly. Refusing to let this stop her from becoming a pilot, Bessie taught herself French, moved to France and earned her license from the renowned Caudron Brothers School of Aviation. Upon her return home, she had become a hero. She traveled the country performing daring airshows and inspiring crowds as she encouraged them to not let anything stand in the way of their dreams.

Award-winning children's illustrator R. Gregory Christie and art director and animator Katherine Bianca Clark provide exciting, vibrant imagery, while Oscar-nominated actor Laurence Fishburne's narration, along with a spirited score by Christopher Joyner, bring Bessie's story to life.

Can't make Saturday?  Flying Free  will also be screened on Monday, May 4th by our friends at RainbowMe Kids at 2 pm ET/11 am PT. Karyn will be conducting a Q&A on their Facebook page before the start of the screening. 

RainbowMe Kids is children's entertainment platform that offers content featuring diverse characters. Geared toward kids ages two to 12 years old, RainbowMe provides entertainment recommendations for video, games, books, music and other activities based on age.
At-Home Activities 

This month, we're sharing activities you can do within the comfort of your home. 

Check out activity suggestions below and as always, contact admin@sweetblackberry.org for any suggestions you'd like to share with our community.  

Educational Activities (via SweetBlackberry.org) 
DIY Activities (to be completed with parent/guardian supervision) 

Speaking with Your Kids About COVID-19

Speaking with your kids about the severity of COVID-19 can be difficult. Like adults, kids too are subject to misinformation. HuffPost recently spoke with experts pulling advice for parents and guardians wanting to have an informed conversation with their children. 

Y ou can also check out the below video of kids explaining COVID-19 via The Atlantic that shows that while they're smart enough to piece the pandemic together, it's always best that they get the full download from a trusted figure at home. 
Kids Explain the Coronavirus
Kids Explain the Coronavirus

April is Jazz Appreciation Month 

Jazz is a genre of music like no other. When sitting and listening, you let go and allow the music to pull you in. This month, we're recognizing our appreciation of jazz and it's African American origins. 

Many believe jazz began in New Orleans. It is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals and of course, improvisation. Inspired by musical traditions from West Africa and the greater Congo, the enslaved passed down traditions such as the use of a single-line melody and call-and-response pattern. Combine this with other musical pumping through New Orleans at this time inspired by military marching bands, folk music, blues, spirituals, ragtime and even opera and there you have it -- jazz. 

Check out the below YouTube video to learn more about jazz's origins.  

What is Jazz?
What is Jazz?

What We're Reading

Book of The Month: 
By: Walter Dean Meyers

There's a crazy syncopation and it's tearing through the nation and it's bringing sweet elation to every single tune. It's Jazz.  

From bebop to New Orleans, from ragtime to boogie, and every style in between, this collection of Walter Dean Myers's energetic and engaging poems, accompanied by Christopher Myers's bright and exhilarating paintings, celebrates different styles of the American art form, jazz. "JAZZ" takes readers on a musical journey from jazz's beginnings to the present day. Includes time line and jazz glossary.

Check it out on Amazon here
I am the winner of 4 Grammy Awards 
Some people call me "Sassy" others call me 'The Devine One" 
It's been said that I had "one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century" 

Who am I? 
Tweet your answer to  @SwtBlackberry  for a shout out in next month's newsletter!