It is time for "the talk." As much as African American parents wish that they can shelter their kids from the harsh realities of prejudice, stereotyping, racism, and police brutality, it is not feasible. The horrifying deaths of children such as Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Aiyana Stanley-Jones prove that children, no matter how young, can become victims of the horrid cancer of American racism, police brutality, and militarized police forces. There is no "talk" that can completely prevent such horrific incidents. However, parents must still attempt to awaken their children to life's challenges, prepare them for potential police encounters, and assure them that despite the obstacles of African American life, there is an abundance of hope for a brighter future and we must work to shape that better future.
This fictional story depicts a family's candid discussion of these pertinent issues in a way that is raw and powerful, yet still loving and uplifting.
"The Talk by Ama Karkari Yawson is a story in poetry form which can serve as resource for parents, educators, librarians and community members to discuss police brutality, race and racial injustices with children. Ama has created a story focused on a family. A mom and dad talk to their two children about sensitive issues such as what to do if they are ever stopped by the police. The parents share history, current events, and examples of stereotyping with their children. Additionally, the parents encourage their children to be proud of their African heritage and to continue to strive for excellence. This book is a "must read" and is suitable for students in the elementary and middle school grades."
Aletta Seales, BS, MS, MLS
NYC Principal (Retired)