Dinner Table Talks create the opportunity for families to have important conversations centered around books. These discussions will build our capacity for talking about race and define our roles in fighting against both every day and systemic racism.
A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart by Zetta Elliott
In Zetta Elliott's children's book, A Place Inside of Me, a young Black child's happy summer is interrupted when police shoot a girl in his neighborhood. The book follows the changing emotions of the child from anger and fear after the shooting to pride and peace when his community comes together to protest the violent act and support each other. This story, told in the form of a beautifully written and accessible poem and illustrated with vibrant and expressive art, offers children the opportunity to process their complicated feelings surrounding difficult and tragic events.
Recommended by Hartley Middleton | Teen Center Associate
Author Zetta Elliott reads and discusses her award-winning book A Place Inside of Me (Read-Aloud begins at 1 minute and 30 seconds).
Guidelines for Discussion
Be open and honest--even when it's hard.
Understand your own prejudice and bias.
Embrace other cultures or races by reading books, watching movies and going to community events.
Celebrate yourself and your own cultural identity.
Don't shy away from conversations about race. Talking is how you build capacity for anti-racism.
Acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them.
It's okay not to know the answer. Look for it together.
How do you calm yourself when your feelings are out of control?
Do you agree with this idea: “I will use my life to help others and they will help me in return.” Why or why not?
Why do you think it’s important to love yourself most of all? How can you honor yourself and your feelings?
Who do you share your feelings with?
Zetta Elliott dedicates the book: “For Zion and all the children who miss the hand they used to hold. Trust that you will laugh again and love again once your heart has had time to heal.” Do you know the story of Atatiana Jefferson? When you are ready, read this article together as a family.
Want to continue the conversation? Need more resources about race?
Take a look at the following booklist for more great titles about the Black Experience: