Authors

  1. Catlin, Anita PhD, FNP, CNL, FAAN

Article Content

In this time of protest and reflection, we are thinking of how to be better people. In addition, if we have teenage children, nieces, nephews, or neighborhood friends, we may wonder how to explain and guide them in their own thinking. This book, written in 2015, could have been written today. It is the story of a Black teen who was severely beaten by a White police officer. The boy did nothing to deserve this. The officer, a community favorite, felt he was upholding the law. The story takes place in a neighborhood and high school where colors are mixed and school is a positive place. Two young voices tell the story. From the intensive care unit, the Black teen, a "good" boy, is being treated for his injuries. From the community, a White schoolmate, who witnessed the beating, tries to figure out who to tell and what to do. There are multiple complexities to the story that include the parents and their dreams for their sons, which are based on keeping a low profile and do not include activism. Yet, the book has an undercurrent of growing realization by the White students that they must protest against the beating and killing of young Blacks.

 

The coauthors, one Black and one White, have an authentic voice. They tell the story of everyone's expanding consciousness. They remind us of the quote by Desmond Tutu: "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." The book is recommended for students 12 years old and up and is a perfect selection for class or home discussion.