Portland Author Jelani Memory Wants You to Talk to Your Kids About the Protests

Even though he’s literally written a book about broaching complex issues with children, that doesn't mean it’s been easy for Memory to explain to his own kids the realities of police brutality.

Jelani Memory. iMAGE: Courtesy of A Kids Book About.

WW presents "Distant Voices," a daily video interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they're doing during quarantine.

Jelani Memory gets that it's difficult to talk to your kids about what's going on in the world right now. He thinks you should do it anyway.

"The discomfort, the fear, is almost always on my part when we go into those conversations," says the Portland author. "I think all kids are in that place where they're hungry, they want to understand."

Last summer, Memory co-founded A Kids Book About, a company that publishes books to help parents start conversation with their kids about complex topics, like divorce, feminism, mental health, shame and mindfulness. Memory authored the first book in the series, A Kids Book About Racism, which defines racism in simple, straightforward language and punchily designed pages.

Related: A New Portland Book Publisher Wants to Teach Kids About Tough Subjects, from Depression to Racism.

But even though he's literally written a book about broaching complex issues with children, that doesn't mean it's been easy for Memory to explain to his own kids the realities of police brutality that recently sparked an international uprising.

WW talked to Memory about quarantining with six kids, the current protests, and how kids can grapple with bigger issues than we often give them credit for.

See more Distant Voices interviews here.

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