Transcript for Emmanuel Acho discusses his new book 'Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy'
and an eye-opening new project from friend of the show, Emmanuel acho, the former football star made waves with his YouTube series and best-selling book, both entitled "Uncomfortable conversations with a black man," and now he's back with a new book aimed at kids called "Uncomfortable conversations with a black boy." So I wrote "Uncomfortable conversations with a black boy" to help boys like me, but also more importantly and most importantly, to educate, you know, non-people of color who are teenagers, white, et cetera, to help them navigate what is racially insensitive and racially ignorant before it gives birth to racism. Reporter: Nelson Mandela famously said you have to learn how to hate. Absolutely. What we don't realize is we're consciously and subconsciously fed so much derogatory information. We just learn certain stereotypes and biases, but anything that can be learned can be unlearned. However, you have to make a commitment to acknowledge and to learn it. Reporter: Emmanuel notes that commitment should not only be made by children, but by parents who themselves are still navigating the events of the past year. The most important thing that I will say, do not use your children as a scapegoat. So often, Dan, we do this. Well, my children aren't ready to have these conversations. They're just not ready for this dialogue, when, in fact, we the parents are not ready, nor are we equipped. We just came through a wrenching trial for former officer chauvin, now convicted murderer, Derek chauvin. How would you discuss this with young people? We need to understand in our country, there are levels and degrees of racism. First degree, saying the "N" word, owning slaves. Second-degree racism, that's the Derek chauvin incident, murdering George Floyd. Then you move down to involuntary racism, and Emmanuel, you're black, but you're not black black, not realizing that you are emotionally still killing and harming individuals. I wonder if you have advice for me as a parent. I have a 6-year-old white son. How do you recommend I break the ice with him on these issues? I would say this. More is caught than is taught. Dan, it doesn't matter what you are telling your young child. What are you showing them? So often our parents will say, make sure you treat everyone at school equally. Make sure you're nice to all the black and brown boys and girls, but have your children have ever witnessed you share dinner or a meal with someone black or brown in the neighborhood? Your actions speak so loud I can't hear what you are telling me. That's what I would make sure I resonate. Interestingly enough, he told me one of the most important things he's done is have uncomfortable conversations with himself. He said he has had to look inward and address how he's doing and whether he needs to give himself a break amidst all the things he has going on in his life. He says, you can't pour from an one of the things he does to refill his cup is play the piano.
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