Children’s author Karyn Parsons visits Jefferson-Houston

Children’s author Karyn Parsons visits Jefferson-Houston
Photo/ACPS Children's book author Karyn Parsons stopped by Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School to talk about writing and telling the stories of overlooked African American heroes.

Children’s book author Karyn Parsons visited Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School in December to share her newly released picture book and participate in a book discussion with library book club members. All students had the opportunity to take home a signed book.

Best known for playing Hilary Banks on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Parsons founded the Sweet Blackberry Foundation to tell the stories of overlooked African American heroes. Her latest book, “Saving the Day: Garrett Morgan’s Life-Changing Invention of the Traffic Signal,” describes how an African American inventor created the traffic light. Parsons read “Saving the Day” to students in grades one through four and answered their questions on how she launched her foundation, why she decided to become a children’s author and what it was like working with Will Smith.

“I think it’s really important for us to be aware of this history … and not lose these stories and lose these truths, as well,” Parsons told a student when they asked why she chose to write about Garret Morgan. 

Students in the library book club had lunch with Parsons and discussed her young adult novel “How High the Moon.” Parsons answered questions from the book club members on the writing process and encouraged them to continue reading. 

“This event was super important because it provided our students an opportunity to connect and engage with an author,” Jefferson-Houston librarian Holly Ousley-Lavender, who organized the author’s visit, said. “The event was also meaningful because Parsons is a female author of color, who writes stories of unsung African Americans that have contributed in a major way to American history. Her work reminds us all that representation and all stories matter.”

This content is contributed by ACPS.