Brooklyn-based Anastasia Higginbotham, author of a book titled “Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness,” read the self-illustrated picture book to a group of children in Fargo, North Dakota, recently while kneeling beside a cardboard cutout of Colin Kaepernick.
Her point was to “teach kids to stand up to racism,” as The Jamestown Sun reported.
“Colin Kaepernick kneels for justice. He kneels for an end to police brutality. He kneels for equity in education and economic justice,” Higginbotham told the outlet.
“So I’m going to kneel next to him as I read.”
She added, “I’m not afraid to look at a painful history, a history in which people who look like me did things they never should have done. I want to look at that history. It’s my fight and my liberation that is tied up in black liberation.”
Never mind that these kids are extremely young and extremely impressionable.
Higginbotham’s “Ordinary Terrible Things” series of children’s books — of which “Not My Idea” is a part — “uses children’s point of view and the author’s own child-like illustrations to discuss touchy subjects in books,” according to The Sun.
Other books in the series, including “Tell Me about Sex, Grandma,” “Death Is Stupid,” and “Divorce is the Worst,” were published in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively, by The Feminist Press at the City University of New York (CUNY).
“Not My Idea” was published by Dottir Press, a feminism-centric venture founded by Jennifer Baumgardner last year. The company’s website indicates that it works “to fill the absences in both our history and present culture through storytelling in all forms and for all ages.”
Dottir Press also mentions its intent was to “[set] children’s literature in reality.”
“Not My Idea” is one of a total of four books available from the new publisher.
Baumgardner, in retweeting a story on the book reading that appeared on “Fox & Friends” and on Fox News early Tuesday morning, said, “They had a hard time making [Higginbotham’s] book look bad.”
— Jennifer Baumgardner (@jenniferbedbaum) September 25, 2018
Colin Kaepernick, whom the author of the book casts as a “role model” for children and is pictured in her book, has been the subject of a great deal of controversy. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback chose to kneel back in 2016 during the national anthem, and after that, other athletes followed suit and found other ways as well to protest.
More recently, Nike chose Kaepernick as the face of a marketing campaign with the slogan “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
In a tweet, Higginbotham described herself as being “on [Kaepernick’s] side.”
“I kneel to get closer to the ground of America’s making, where the truth, the treasures, & all the bodies are all buried,” she added, appending the hashtag #blacklivesmatter.
Not My Idea: A Book About #Whiteness, out now! Book launch special guest in cardboard form @Kaepernick7 because I'm on his side. I kneel to get closer to the ground of America's making, where the truth, the treasures, & the bodies are all buried. @dottirpress #blacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/xgsdpU7jI4
— A Higginbotham (@AHigginBooks) September 6, 2018
What you are doing is a disservice to children and parents. You are teaching children it's OK to be disrespectful and that is disgusting.
— Pam Stephan (@PSpamcakes) September 25, 2018
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