Black Kids Only?
Are your books only for black kids???
I’ve gotten that question a lot. No, really, A LOT!!! So much so that I’m no longer surprised or shocked by it. The very first time it was asked, I simply answered “no”. Asked and answered, right? Wrong! The simple "no" instantly receives a puzzled look. One that says, he answered no, but that can’t be true. This look of mystery became fairly common. Someone would ask, I would answer, and out came facial expressions that almost made me want to make sure I correctly pronounced the word: “no”, “noO”, noOOo”. Due to these exchanges, a simple “no” no longer suffices.
How do I answer now? I’m glad you asked! I no longer take the question as a simple ask and answer. I now very plainly answer that question with a question of my own. “Why do you ask?” Guess what? People DO NOT expect that. Thanks to my return question, I still see a bewildered look. However, I now make them think: Hmm, why did I ask that? Many cannot answer that question within. Once their face goes back to normal, I realize they cannot answer themselves on why they asked the question. I then receive a smile and something dismissive, “oh, no reason.” But tsk, tsk, tsk, my curious kitten. By not answering my return question, this exchange is not over, it has now become a teaching moment.
What can be taught/learned from this moment? Again, I’m glad you asked! One word answer: PERCEPTION. As the old saying goes, perception is reality. Thus, the individuals who normally have to ask if my books are only for black kids, are essentially saying THEY perceive authors of my hue to only write for mirroring faces. This is not only offensive but also small thinking. I’ve been a reader since a child. I’ve been a lover of prime-time television and blockbuster movies my entire life. Here’s a secret… most of the characters in these scenarios do not look like me. Am I to assume that Caucasian authors, script writers and the such ONLY write for whites? Of course not. Let’s do our best to not put folks in a box.
We’re living in the day and age where the Hip Hop music is now Pop music and culture. Where those who were once the “minority” are slowly becoming the majority. America will eventually be what it said it was, a melting pot. Thus, regardless if you identify as Black or African American, YOU should want your children to be accepting and understanding to those that do not look like them. You should want them to educate themselves on issues that they may not ever deal with but are very real for their counterparts. Because It is through our beautiful kiddos that we have a guiding hand in our future.
Peace and Love,
Background Album Playing While Writing This Blog:
Be by Common
Prevail Publishing Group | www.baseemgregg.com | IG: b_theauthor