“NO FAIRYTALE: Why We Must Teach Kids About Prison”

Dr. R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy wrote an article about the increasing need to teach young children and adults about surviving the prison industrial system:

Recently, a picture has been floating around the Internet of a children’s book called “The Night Dad Went to Jail: What to expect when someone you love goes to jail” by Melissa Higgins. The book cover features a portrait of “Sketch” the main character whose father is arrested for breaking a law. Many of my friends who have seen the book cover have shared commentary on how the book represents the break down of American cultural values and suggested we are “teaching our children the wrong things.” I do agree that the book represents a breakdown in American values, but not the ones people are accusing the book of disregarding.

Sadly, the United States has become the leader of incarceration in the world and it is incarceration that is undoing the sanctity of our communities. not books. Unfortunately, if we don’t begin to prepare children and adults for what has become the virtual inevitability of dealing the prison system, we’ll be attempting to live in a fairy tale. We have come to the point where real life non-fiction is necessary for children and adults.

About a year ago, I learned that a classmate, Ahmariah Jackson, from my college days was co-authoring a book. This didn’t surprise me, as he was one of the most critically astute brothers I encountered at Morehouse. But when I learned that the book was on surviving prison, I was caught off guard. Ahmariah Jackson and I Atomic Seven’s book “Locked Up but Not Locke Down: A Guide to Surviving the American Prison System” is a crash course in surviving the judicial gauntlet from arrest to post-release.

Read the rest at Ebony Mag

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