This dad wrote a book that teaches children about what protests mean
February 12, 2016 at 1:28 pm
The founder and executive director of Fathers Incorporated, Kenneth Braswell was inspired by his 6 year old son to write Daddy, There’s a Noise Outside, a book that will “allow both parents and teachers to have conversations with young kids, particularly in this case between the grades of one [and] four, about what’s taking place in our communities.”
Founded in 2004, Fathers Incorporated, based in Atlanta, is an organization dedicated to responsible fatherhood, using their time and resources to raise awareness about the necessity for positive father involvement, and educating their communities about the importance of healthy father-child relationships.
After his son asked him what protesting was, Mr. Braswell was initially stumped on what to tell him. He told The Root, ““I had an adult answer for that, but I did not have a 6-year-old answer…I fumbled with trying to explain to him what protest meant, why people were protesting and what they were protesting.” This conversation birthed his book, released on Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year.
After spending time speaking with other parents, he realized that this was a common issue facing many in the black community. Children were beginning to see first and secondhand accounts of protest as a result of social injustice, and they wanted answers – prompting Braswell to write about it.
The story focuses on a black family explaining protest to their children, citing important moments in the history of black civil rights like the Million Man march and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The book concludes with the children having a better understanding of what protest is for, and the way and why it happens.
“Children have always been involved in some manner of protest, whether it was marching, boycotting,” he said, ” and so I’m now wondering, in those cases where we have used children to protest a particular issue, whether or not adults take the time to actually explain…Our children deserve to understand the society in which they live.”
Books like Daddy, There’s a Noise Outside, available on his site and Amazon, will hopefully become an integral part of exposing young black children to protest in a way that is digestible for them, and has given Kenneth Braswell a newfound sense of purpose. He has written three more children’s books since this one about things that black families have to deal with in everyday life, and plans to release another book during National Men’s Health Month in June about a father who has a heart attack in hopes more black family will talk about the importance of health.
“My hope is that I create a series of books that every family, particularly if they are of African descent, must have.”