momma did you hear the news

New Children’s Book Helps Parents Discuss Police Brutality With Their Kids

momma did you hear the newsFor black parents, having “the talk” with their kids isn’t just about the birds and the bees; it’s also about being black in America and what it entails, namely, being at risk of suffering police brutality.

Former social worker  Sanya Gragg wanted to make it easier for black parents to have this discussion with their kids, hence penning the children’s book Momma, Did You Hear The News?  

Gragg, 46, is a mom herself, and says she had been considering writing the book for some time. Getting laid off from her position as a social worker gave her more time to think about it, and following the shooting death of Terence Crutcher last September, her decision was finalized.

“I knew there would be many families having ‘the talk’ with their children,” Gragg told Huffpost“It confirmed that this was my assignment.”

Gragg, who has two adult sons and one 3-year-old daughter, also stated that the most difficult part of having the talk about police brutality with her sons is that it won’t guarantee that they’ll never experience that brutality.

“The most difficult part for me is knowing my sons and yours can do everything right and still end up in a tragic situation,” she said. “That just makes me really sad.”

She added that this conversation is a requirement for all black families regardless of wealth or social standing, and feels that the appropriate age at which to have that talk is getting younger.

“I think [that] because of social media and our children’s access to it, this conversation is happening much sooner,” Gragg said. “What used to be a concern once our children started driving is now a concern if they are just walking down the street. I think this book can really help with the introduction of this topic.”

The book includes the following 5-part mantra to help black Americans remember what they should do when an encounter with the police occurs:

A – Always use your manners
L – Listen and comply
I – In control of your emotions
V – Visible hands always
E – Explain everything
Gragg concluded, “I definitely want everybody to ‘Memorize the 5!‘ I think even adults who have been driving for years may get anxious if pulled over. This just gives a quick mental checklist to help you come home alive.”

Momma, Did You Hear The News? can be purchased here.

By: Danielle Dixon

Follow her on Twitter: @tooprettydani

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