Transcript for Why Emmanuel Acho wrote ‘Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Boy’
So, you know, you started your uncomfortble conversation on your YouTube series as a response to the death of George Floyd, correct? Yes, ma'am. Almost a week later Derek chauvin was found guilty on all three counts of murder. How did you react when you saw the verdict come in? Really, really good question, joy. I was relieved. Then after my relief I had to catch myself. I said, wait a second, am I relieved that the criminal justice system gave us justice? Is that problematic? Joy, I had to catch myself. I said, wait a second, why do I feel a weight lifted off me that a man which we saw murder another man was convicted of murder? It's a pretty low bar I had to be relieved that something we all witnessed the man was finally justly held accountable for. So that was my initial reaction. You released your first uncomfortable conversations book last year and now you've adapted it into a children book called "Uncomfortable conversations with a black boy." Why was it important for you to make this bok for children and what has the response been? Meghan, phenomenal question. If you want to change the heart of the world, you impact the mind of the youth. If we want to address a tree -- say you wanted to change the trees. You could pluck the leaves, cut down the branches, but it's best you tackle the roots. Children, they're the root of our future. When I was 12 to 15, I was heard Emmanuel, you don't talk like you're black or dress like your black, or the worse of all, you're like an oreo black on the outside, white on the inside. I thought I was black. I looked black. So many of my white peers told me I wasn't. Uncomfortable conversations with a black boy's goal is to help my white youth understand racial ignorance and racial insensitivity before it gives birth to racism and help my black and brown youth understand their identity while helping everyone understand the historical context of this country. In the book you write about how some parents say they are raising their kids to be color blind as a way to teach them everyone is the same, but you've said that raising your kids to not see color is a mistake. I 100% agree with that. I want you to tell us why and when do you think parents should start having these conversations with their kids? Yeah, two great questions. If we were to talk outside on a gloomy day and look up in the sky and I said look at the rainbow and you responded, Emmanuel, I don't see it. I don't see color. The goal in life, the objective shouldn't be not to see color, but see color, see culture and give it the value it deserves. See color and culture and appreciate different colors and different cultures. The objective shouldn't be not to see color, but see color and appreciate color. Now "Uncomfortable conversations with a black boy" I wrote it because -- so often parents say my children aren't ready to have that conversation. You don't teach your children how to drive at all the same age. You decide based upon their maturation level. These conversations about race, they should be dictated based upon their maturation level and when they can digest the dialogue. I will say this do not use your children as a scape goat. That's what we so often do as parents. Parents aren't equipped to have the conversations about race. No, no, no. Don't use your children as a scape goat. I wrote the book answering questions about cultural appropriate yagss, questions about the "N" word, questions about cultural proep yags. I wrote it so parents could have that conversation. You hosted "The bachelor: After the final rose" this past March after a season full of racial controversy. Matt James chose Rachael Kirkconnell, but after controversial photos of her were released online, including some at a 2018 plantation-themed antebellum party and allegedly liking other social media posts featuring confederate flags. He said he couldn't be with her. Last week, I understand that Matt and Rachael are now back together. It's caused some anger online and some backlash. You spent several hours with them. What is your sense of them being back together? Do you think Rachael was sincere and understands the import of her actions? That's a good question. I think Rachael is seeking and yearning for knowledge and education. I look at it like this -- I've heard this said before, prejudice is a willful commitment to ignorance. It's one thing of being ignorance. We may be ignorance of colorism and racism, but once you're committed to ignorance, that's when you you can -- I think Rachael is committed to that learning. It's not about the start. It's about the finish. As for Matt James, that was a man in my opinion in interturmoil. Understanding it's hard to be wth someone who doesn't understand you. Now that Rachael is committed to understanding Matt James and his culture, I'm glad to see them try to work it out. I look at it like this, sunny, you either please all people some of the time or some people all of the time, but you can't please all people all of the time. This is true. Don't go anywhere. We expect you'll continue to please us when we come back with more questions for you. How about that? We'll be right back. Y baby don't stop Don't stop baby Baby Don't stop the feeling Sunglasses on looking at the sky a certain sunny way of life Baby unleash your brighter side Don't stop the feeling Na Na Na Na Na Hey Na Na Na Na Na F - E - E - L - I- N -G Don't stop the feeling Don't stop baby baby Don't stop the feeling At Philadelphia, we know what makes the perfect schmear of cream cheese. You need only the freshest milk and cream. That one! And the world's best, and possibly only, schmelier. Philadelphia. Schmear perfection. Antibacterial or moisturizing body wash?
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