Talk to Kids About Imus Insult to Rutgers Women Says Author

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"Words have consequences," says children's book author Angela E. Davis, a woman of color who calls on parents to talk to kids about the controversy of ex-talk show host Don Imus' insensitive remarks about Rutgers U. women's basketball team. "In his harsh words, we see a life lesson," says Davis.

An author of books for kids age 2 and up says ex-radio shock jock Don Imus proves wrong the nursery rhyme of "sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me," and that children need to understand the power of words they say to each other.

"Kids need to know that words have power and can sometimes hurt," said Angela E. Davis, author of 18 books addressing issues of ethnic diversity and family values for all young children.

Davis spoke out about the need for parents to address sensitive issues of racial tolerance with young kids in the midst of the controversy around Don Imus' insult to the young ladies of Rutgers University.

CBS fired Imus from his morning radio show, "Imus In The Morning," a move that followed MSNBC's cancellation of the television simulcast of the radio show on its cable network. "Words have consequences," Davis said.

On his now cancelled "Imus In The Morning" CBS radio show and MSNBC TV broadcast, Imus last week made disparaging remarks about the young women of the Rutgers University women's varsity basketball team, who had just competed in the NCAA National Championship, which they lost, finishing second in the nation. Since then, media attention has been intensely focused on the issue.

Imus insulted the team based on hair texture and tattoos that Imus said made the young ladies appear more like members of a professional men's basketball team, while also indicating they were of a lower moral character by use of a denigrating street-term. Imus apologized for the pain he caused the students.

Davis said, "Children get messages in a variety of ways, and they are catching fragments of information as the news of Imus' comments dominates media coverage. It's vital for parents to help children understand and correctly interpret the great lesson of racial tolerance that can be learned from this situation."

Davis said kids visit her website at http://www.urban-kidz.com and have great curiosity about things that affect their daily lives. She said they are very likely aware of the Imus issue.

In her book, "Proud To Be A Girl," Davis entertainingly conveys the message that young girls of any ethnicity should be proud and resist feelings of inferiority, particularly when insensitive people make disparaging remarks about their participation in sports. In the book, she addresses the common use of the words "Tom Boy" used to insult girls who play football, basketball, baseball or take part in certain other traditionally male activities.

Davis, a retired elementary school teacher with an advanced degree in Early Child Education, brings a wealth of practical experience, both as a woman of color and a teacher of children, to her writing. Her books are designed to bring important life messages to children age 2 and up.

Davis publishes through http://www.urban-kidz.com and All 4 Kidz Enterprises, Homewood, Illinois.

Angela K. Davis, author, and Robert E. Lewis, Educational Consultant, combine talents to carefully craft stories that convey life messages in gentle but emphatic ways to children. Kindness, consideration of others, empathy, understanding, forgiveness and tolerance are common themes espoused by the books' main characters.

Lewis said, "The messages Angela conveys in her books are empowering to children and designed to help them though the rough times they encounter. Her entertaining stories are quite like morality plays of old, where a simple lesson is taught through use of simple language and easy to relate stories of events that typically affect children."

"Proud To Be A Girl" is part of the "I Promise Series" by former educator Davis, in which she addresses issues of developmental importance to boys and girls of all races and creeds. The underlying theme of the series is tolerance and understanding of others and the message in the "Proud To Be A Girl" children's book specifically addresses the importance of equality of the sexes in a light, fun and entertaining story about one girl's experiences when participating in girls' sports, notably basketball.

The books tell stories from a kids point of view, including by licensed characters Cherry, who likes candy; Freddy, the carpenter of the group; Cookie, whose hobby is photography; Penny, a dancer; Sylvia, the singer; Stevie, the athlete; Billy, the artist; Judy, the bookworm and others.

Davis said, "Growing up, I heard many of the same comments other young black girls hear and I can tell you both personally and professionally, they hurt. To be disparaged simply because of your color or the quality of your hair or your desire to participate in sports is painful, deep inside when only you and those closest to you know your feelings are affected."

Other of Davis' books include "Bullies Finish Last" (which Davis feels would be a good book for Don Imus to consider reading), "Proud To Be Me," "The Littlest Dancer," "The Birthday Surprise," "The Scary Sleepover," "The Candy Man" and others, each of which teaches a vital life message for children. Visit http://www.urban-kidz.com for more information.    

Media Contact:    Brian Dobson, 203-894-9240, bd (at) DobsonPR.com

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