Activist Rachel Cargle Reads Aloud to Kids to "Offer a Little Ease in These Heavy Times"

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Activist, writer, lecturer, and brand-new bookstore owner Rachel Elizabeth Cargle wants to offer parents and kids a "little ease in these heavy times" in the form of a reading of Faith Ringgold's children's book, Tar Beach.

After the COVID-19 pandemic began, Rachel spent her afternoons virtually reading aloud to kids to help be a part of the "village" for parents who were suddenly full-time, at-home caregivers no matter their previous work/life balances. "The reading series I did had been my way of showing up where I can and where I feel led to," Rachel wrote on Instagram, adding that she feels the same pull to keep sharing these videos amid the current protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

"It's the same now in this continued fight against injustice and this particular fight against police brutality — we all have to show up whenever and however and with every ounce of our power, heart and intention. I wanted to offer this reading I did just a few weeks ago by Faith Ringgold as a soft space in your day," she wrote. "I say over and over my healing has always been found in Black women and [this] book written and illustrated by Faith Ringgold has held my heart tenderly since my own mama read it to me as a little girl. Today Cassie and her dreams and her words and her hopes for her people still sound like the sweetest thing to my ears and encompasses the passions I hold within me. Take a breath, listen to the story, continue to show up and never back down."

Watch Rachel's full reading above, and purchase a copy of Tar Beach ($7) for your child's bookshelf from Rachel's bookstore, Elizabeth's. A percentage of sales will be donated to The Loveland Foundation, Rachel's organization that seeks to provide communities of color — especially Black women and girls — with opportunity and healing, particularly access to mental health services and therapy.