Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy

Roaring Brook. May 2021. 320p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250801067.
Gr 6-10–A young readers adaptation of Acho’s Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, this is an examination of systemic racism as experienced by a Nigeran-American young man who was educated in predominately white institutions. The author’s upbringing and experiences coupled with his time in the NFL has allowed him to develop relationships with people from all walks of life. These relationships and the murder of George Floyd led Acho to create his YouTube series “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.” This volume gives younger readers an entry point to having conversations of their own about race and racism. Acho explains the ways racism continues to negatively impact Black people today. Readers are introduced to the unjust laws and housing and health care practices that continue to prop up the system of white supremacy. He also provides insight into Black culture for non-Black readers. He explores what being an ally means, protesting safely, and speaking up confidently. Readers of all races can use this resource to begin having crucial conversations about the need to dismantle systemic racism in this country.
VERDICT A strong addition for public and school libraries who want to offer safe spaces for these necessary conversations. Pair with Frederick Joseph’s The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person.

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