What if Black parents from other planets visited Earth? What kind of advice would you give them to safely navigate the world given today’s social climate? In To Black Parents Visiting Earth: Raising Black Children in the 21st Century, Janet Stickmon writes a collection of letters to Black parents visiting Earth on topics ranging from the politics of hair to generational wealth, from education to self-care, offering practical advice on how to raise our Black children to be happy, confident, and resilient. The letters are part memoir, part self-help guide and explore ways we can inoculate our children against self-hatred, strengthen their spirits, and nurture their brilliance against a backdrop of anti-Blackness.
“There’s so much to laud here, but I’m most taken by the lushness and specificity of the language. All of our senses are taken care of as Stickmon makes us feel, not just what it feels like to be a Black parent or Black child, but the actual intimate and terrifying space between child and parent, between Black childhood and Black adulthood. To Black Parents Visiting Earth will last…it will set the tone for parental studies in this country. I’ve never read anything like this book.” —KIESE LAYMON, author of Heavy: An American Memoir
“To Black Parents Visiting Earth is a powerful affirmation that reminds Black parents (and others) that we are not crazy when we make demands for more inclusive, representative, culturally relevant approaches to growing our children.” —GLORIA LADSON-BILLINGS, author of The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children
“Janet Stickmon is an ancient truth teller. Her collection of letters of love to Black parents [Black people] will incite a wave of enduring engagements and interventions into the everyday experiences, battles, and triumphs of Black life and Black parenthood. To Black Parents Visiting Earth is a ground swell of tools, remembrances, and unapologetic defiance in a world set on negating the power, beauty, and brilliance of Black children.” —ANDREW JOLIVETTE, author of Obama and the Biracial Factor: The Battle for a New American Majority