A Kids Book About books teach children about racism and other “adults” to

Jelani Memory believes that fire-breathing dragons, teddy bears, and fairy tales about princesses have their place in the children’s media landscape, but enough of this fantasy already exists. On the contrary, asks the author and the entrepreneur: “Where are all the true stories? Who explains what is going on in the world?

His quest to educate young children about the realities of the world prompted him to write the book, A children’s book on racism. It would be different from most children’s books, removing the sugar coating and educating 5-9 year olds about racism “in all its seriousness and ugliness”, emphasizing facts and honesty over illustrations. colorful and poppy patterns.

[Photo: courtesy A Kids Book About]

Memory, founder and CEO of A children’s book on, joined us this week Ideas that change the world podcast to discuss the concept of bringing up topics like racism with impressionable young people. After racism, the Memory publishing startup tackled other important topics – incarceration, depression, death, feminism, sexual abuse, being transgender and shootings in schools – no euphemisms or those little white lies that adults tend to use. “I think these are heavy topics,” he says, “but I don’t know if kids always perceive them that way, which means they don’t carry all the baggage with them.” It is adults who feel uncomfortable with the subject, he says, more than children.

The reason this education started early is that many children are already struggling, says Memory. Children can be bullied, see parents arguing, or face the death of a grandparent, without knowing how to talk about it. “Yes, we want to give them the safety and comfort they need,” he says, “but pretending that doesn’t happen [is] creating more discomfort. Books are one way to approach these questions. “We don’t really sell books. We sell the conversation that comes after.

[Photo: courtesy A Kids Book About]

Plus, many adults themselves don’t know exactly how to talk about issues like racism, until they get to college or take training in workplace diversity – or, worse, they do. don’t even believe it exists. Memory says his book sales skyrocketed after the murder of George Floyd, which was a huge wake-up call for many as we certainly don’t live in a post-racial society. “They are not black parents, they are not coastal parents,” he says of book buyers. “These are white parents from Central America who say, ‘Oh my God, racism is real. I need to talk to my child.

Memory has now added podcasts and online courses to its educational arsenal, all geared towards the same goal of helping children understand difficult concepts from an early age and become better members of society. “They have the power to be better, to do better, to love the people around them who are like them or not at all,” he says. “And, above all, to love each other as they are.”

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