We are so excited to announce that we are hosting a tour for The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed! Today is Nox’s turn to introduce why we advocated for this book:)
I grew up hearing my dad’s stories about living in Inglewood during the LA Riots. I know that if it weren’t for his stories, I would’ve never learned about them, since our educational system doesn’t teach it to its students. Rodney King’s assault occurred nearly 30 years ago and it’s infuriating to know that his story is being erased because it teaches us something important, that nothing has changed for the Black community.
This is what drew me to The Black Kids – the fact that there is a book out there talking about an important part of Black history that’s been hidden from our textbooks means so much to me, as someone that grew up in LA.
We can’t wait for everyone to sign up for this tour, we are looking for African American and/or Black #OwnVoices reviewers. If that’s you, fill out the form here. If you know anyone that is African American and/or Black, please pass along this information to them in case they are interested.
Christina Hammonds Reed holds an MFA in Film and Television Production from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Her short fiction has previously appeared in the Santa Monica Review. She lives in Hermosa Beach, CA.
The Black Kids
by Christina Hammonds Reed
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 1st, 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Contemporary
Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give, this unforgettable coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots.
Los Angeles, 1992
Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.
Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.
As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson.
With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?