I woke up last Saturday to such a beautiful surprise! So many people downloaded the "Keep Moving Forward, Henry!" e-book that it became Amazon's #1 New Release in Children's Prejudice & Racism category!
Since I was a child--I've had the intention of combating racism and prejudice. At the time, I thought that if I could become a U.S. Ambassador then I could travel the U.S. and the globe and influence others to see that people of color are just people. I wanted to share the message that we are all apart of one race--the human race.
Well, I didn't become a U.S. Ambassador but I still feel called to carry the message: that although we may look different, eat different foods, have varying cultural traditions--we all deserve the right to be treated with compassion, dignity, empathy, respect and kindness.
As I was reflecting on having a book become number one in the category of race and prejudice--my eyes were peaked when I came across this post on Facebook: "If children are old enough to experience racism, white children are old enough to learn about it."
The topic of race is something that many children of color have to grapple with at a very young age. For me--it was when I was 5 years old and in kindergarten. I remember a boy in my class called me a "nigger."
If children are capable of name calling, bullying, ostracizing, etc....then they are definitely old enough to learn how to respectfully treat people who look different than them. But many parents are hesitant to broach this subject with their kids. In fact, I had a white homeschool mother tell me she didn't teach about slavery until her kids were in high school. She wanted to protect them from such a harsh subject. In my mind, I was thinking how in the world do you teach our countries history without talking about the millions of enslaved Africans who helped build it? Shocking--right?!
But before you get mad at her--to be fair--the school systems really aren't much better. That's why I feel so honored and privileged to write about this topic to make it easier for parents and teachers to address issues of race and prejudice. I want to see change and I know it can actually happen if we address it with the children.
So when I got this picture (below) from a teacher in Texas--my heart exploded with joy and thankfulness. If the children catch on to the message---then brighter and better days are ahead for all of us!
Click here to learn more about the background of "Keep Moving Forward, Henry!"
Ayanna is an author that enjoys writing fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction, and poetry for children. She has written over 15 stories and hopes to publish them in the near future.