Mayborn storytime event explores Black history through children’s books

Breshena Crosby reads a children's book in the Mayborn Museum honoring Black History Month. Assoah Ndomo | Photographer

By Ashlyn Beck | Staff Writer

This week, the Mayborn Museum’s Monday Storytime featured two stories that explore themes and ideas related to Black History Month.

With children gathered around, Breshena Crosby, the box office manager for the theater arts department, read Rio Cortez’s “The ABC’s of Black History” and Russell and Ciara Wilson’s “Why Not You?”

“I think stories are really important for kids to help learn about Black history and also to contextualize it,” Crosby said. “Having different types of stories to tell kids is really important because it helps them to learn history as they’re growing [up] with it.”

Crosby graduated from Baylor in 2017 with a degree in theater performance and moved to California. Since then, she has returned to Waco, where she is an actress, director and playwright for theaters in the area.

“As an actor, I think stories are very important, because that’s literally what I do,” Crosby said. “I’m the storyteller on stage.”

Crosby said her professional experience with stories makes her passionate about telling stories in other ways as well.

“That’s what I love: being able to tell stories like this,” Crosby said.

Jessie Hess, a mom who frequently brings her kids to Monday Storytime, said she was glad her children got to learn more about Black history.

“We really enjoy the Mayborn, and we love storytime here,” Hess said. “My kids love it, and we try and come most Mondays when we can.”

Allison Achilefu, a mom who also brought her kids to Monday Storytime, said stories are a great medium for teaching and entertaining her children.

“We were excited to see [Breshena] was hosting storytime and wanted to come listen to her,” Achilefu said.

While the Mayborn Museum’s Monday Storytime is primarily for children, Crosby said adults can take things away from the event as well. She said she learned something new from reading “The ABC’s of Black History” and expected that many of the parents in attendance learned something new as well.

“I think that’s the beauty of storytelling, is that you never know who is going to get something or what they’re going to get [out of it],” Crosby said.

The Mayborn Museum hosts Monday Storytime at 10:30 a.m. every week.