The TV journalist and best-selling author offers a gentle introduction to the timely topic.
Posted in , Jul 1, 2020
ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis is highlighting the importance of children celebrating diversity with her second children’s book, co-written with her mother, Beverly Davis, One Big Heart: A Celebration of Being More Alike Than Different.
The Emmy Award-winning reporter, whose six-year-old son, Ayden, was the inspiration behind the best-selling book, which was published in August 2019, spoke to Guideposts.org about using the multicultural book as a teaching tool in these difficult times.
“I came up with the idea a few years ago because I was worried about the messages that my son was being bombarded with in the news,” she says, noting that he began asking questions about race following the highly publicized arrest of two Black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks in 2018. “It’s difficult to articulate this complex topic for a young child’s mind, but it’s possible, starting with these kinds of books.”
While writing the story, Davis says it was important for her to acknowledge the various ways in which we’re different—from our skin to our hair to our distinctive personalities. “Instead of having a fear of being different, kids should have the opposite mindset and not try to fit in,” she says. “Kids at a very young age—and parents—can use this book to say, ‘Hey we’re different and that’s a good thing.’”
Still, Davis urges both children and adults to remember that, regardless of our unique differences, we all have a lot in common and should focus on the many attributes that unite us.
“People always say that kids don’t see color and I absolutely disagree with that,” she says. “Kids do see color, they just don’t assign a value to it. Adults do.”
As a Christian mother, Davis found it important to incorporate the presence of God in One Big Heart, just as she did in her first children’s book The World is Awake: A Celebration of Everyday Blessings, to highlight that, “We are God’s creations given this one unique gift: one big heart.” She also describes the Bible verse “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mark 12:31 KJV), as “the most essential point we can get across to our kids in this time and in our current climate.”
Davis, who reports for World News, Good Morning America, 20/20 and Nightline, acknowledged that it can be difficult for parents to discuss the current protests brought on by the murder of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by police in Minneapolis. But she feels it’s important to provide her son with “an explanation that’s truthful without making him scared or fearful.”
Davis says family and friends have come forward to thank her for creating a resource that enables parents to discuss race, diversity and inclusion with their children in a safe way. “This ugly issue is still pervasive in society,” she says. “It can’t be swept under the rug any longer.”