Well it’s nearly here.
For most of the country, well for most of the world it is a Christmas like no other. Family and friends are a bit further away than we imagined, some may not be geographically far, but pandemic rules mean they may as well be a hundred miles away.
This is not how I thought this would look when I did Christmas last year. I can remember thinking last year I wonder how many more Christmas’s will look like this? Our children are all adults and will be starting their own traditions, they may or may not be in the city or even the country. How little I knew.
But as I began to ponder this Christmas, I started to think about some other families who will have a very different Christmas this year.
I became very emotional as I thought about Gianna Floyd (6-year-old daughter of George) who thought her daddy was gonna change the world, but she had no idea that it would cost him his life.She will spend Christmas without her daddy, her grandma will not hear her son’s laughter this year. Georges friends describe him as always cheerful, a gentle giant, those in his community talk about the difference he made to the community, his heart for young people and his faith.
I am reminded of this because Afrori books is so much about George and the others like him who have died, been imprisoned and treated unjustly in this country and around the world and it is so important that these people do not become invisible as we grow.
I genuinely believe that if we read more, read better things would look so much different I the world. If history was taught in an honest and open way, attitudes would be very different. Imagine if teachers read better and understood that little black boys are not a threat to them. If they understood the different cultures and accepted people and made room for them. If they grasped the massive contributions of black people to the western world.
If you and your friends could fathom how white privilege keeps a knee on black people and hinders their progression. In education, finance, housing, careers and so much more.
We sell books not because we want to make a quick buck. (In fact, most people will tell you there is very little profit in books, we just about break even.) We sell books because we want to change the world. I believe that with every fibre of my being. If we can get these books, books of tears, books of laughter, books of the future and of the past. Books that go from the cradle to the grave.
Would Gianna still have a daddy if Police officer Chauvin had been given books by black authors as a child? I believe he would. You may think I am being overly optimistic, but only when everyone is reading diversely an anyone prove me wrong.
So until then...I'll keep shouting it. In the hope that you keep reading and together we change the world