Atlanta, GA—Executive Director of Fathers Incorporated, Kenneth Braswell, is no stranger to finding ways to help his community address sensitive subjects. His professional career is grounded in running his 11-year-old nonprofit in an effort to build the capacity of fathers to build stronger families. Fast-forward thousands of articles, one book, and two documentaries later, Braswell has turned his attention to children’s literature.
Braswell’s newest endeavor “Daddy, There’s a Noise Outside,” takes the complex issue of protesting and breaks the conversation down so that a 1st grader can understand. “The idea for this book came to me when my 6-year-old son asked my wife why I was in Baltimore on the day the indictments were issued on the six police officers in the Freddie Gray case,” says Braswell, to which she said to him, “Wait until your father comes home and ask him.” That explanation transformed into a 24-page children’s book focused on helping 1st-5th graders understand the nuances of protest.
The story begins when two children are awakened by noises in the middle of the night coming from outside the window of their inner-city neighborhood. Both their Dad and Mom spend the next morning explaining to them what was taking place in their community.
A recent article by Daniel José Older of The Guardian speaks to the low percentage of children’s books written depicting African American characters. The article entitled, “Do Black Children’s Lives Matter if Nobody Writes about Them”, states that in 2014, only 5% of the 3,500 children’s books published were about Black characters. “There is a huge opportunity for Black authors to use children’s literature to educate them on current societal issues,” says Braswell. The book is co-illustrated by New York artist Julie Anderson and Mississippi native; Joe Dent.
The book will be available for pre-sale from November 26th – December 15th in order for books to arrive by Christmas. For more information on speaking engagement, book signings, bulk orders and to preorder visit www.fathersincorporated.com/DTANO. Full Release of the book will take place on Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday Weekend 2016.