New Kids’ Book Simplifies Talk on U.S. Police Brutality Against Blacks

Fredrick Ngugi April 28, 2017
Photo credit: Sanya Gragg

As the number of unarmed Black men killed by police officers in America continues to rise, one African-American Mom hopes to help fellow Black parents steer this difficult conversation ahead with her new book “Momma, Did You Hear the News?

Sanya Gragg, a 46-year-old Mother of three (two sons and a daughter), says the book makes it easy for Black children to learn about a subject that can, on many occasions, be scary.

She adds that the book seeks to give parents practical ways to approach this chilling conversation with their children, enabling them to answer hard questions from their kids in an easy-to-understand and engaging way.

“The book helps kids understand they can possibly help de-escalate a potentially horrible situation. It also explains to kids that all policemen are not bad and that we pray for those in blue,” said Gragg while speaking to Face2Face Africa.

Gragg also asks Black parents to be honest with their kids, especially in this era of social media, where kids can easily access all that’s going on in the world at a young age.

Sanya Gragg

Sanya Gragg. Photo credit: Amazon

The former social worker adds that the Black community has a responsibility of educating its youth on what to do in situations that are likely to escalate into dicey incidents.

She also calls on law enforcement agencies across America to do their due diligence when hiring police officers and ensure all officers are properly trained.

“Take time off for PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] and work to address any mental health concerns with all [police] officers. Because at the end of the day, we do rely on them to protect and serve,” Gragg says.

‘Momma, Did You Hear the News?’

The book “Momma, Did You Hear the News?” is about a boy (“Avery”) who becomes concerned about the many unarmed Black men he continues to see shot and killed by police.

Avery’s parents bring him and his brother together to have “the Talk,” a conversation known in the African-American community as a discussion about what to do when you encounter law enforcement officers.

Mommy, did you hear the news

A new kid’s book that talks about police brutality against Black men in America. Photo credit: Twitter

In the book, Avery’s parents teach the boys a catchy chant, “come home A.L.I.V.E.,” so that they can always know what to do when approached by the police.

A.L.I.V.E. breaks down the five most important things that Black people should always do when they come in to contact with law enforcement:

A-Always use your manners

L-Listen and comply

I-In control of your emotions

V-Visible hands always

E-Explain everything

The book, which is available on Amazon, is currently No. 1 in the category of “Children’s Hot New Releases.”

Gragg says she is humbled by the overwhelming response the book, which is her first release, has received so far, adding that she has gotten many inquiries of a book tour whose details, she says, will be released soon.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: April 28, 2017


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