‘Say Their Names’ Is a Tool for Imagining New Ways Forward

‘Say Their Names’ Is a Tool for Imagining New Ways Forward

News Alert – August 22, 2022

Contact Caroline Brewer, caroline@carolinebrewerbooks.com for review copies and links to photos and video or Allison Lambert, alambert@benchmarkeducation.com, Marketing Manager for review copies and marketing information

Washington, D.C.Reycraft Books and D.C. Author Caroline Brewer announced the August 22, 2022 release of a new 24-page picture book* conceived on Black Lives Matter Plaza, in front of the White House, and written from a child’s perspective.

In Say Their Names, 7-year-old Aliya responds to the aftermath of George Floyd’s death with poetry, history, and an invitation to a love-inspired future.  “We love this book!,” says Reycraft Editor Eileen Robinson. “We have not seen anything like it. It’s a fresh take on this movement, and we believe it’s going to spark the kinds of conversations – and actions — that our world needs now…And if you ever have the honor of hearing a live reading of Say Their Names, be prepared, it will electrify your soul.”

Brewer, who became active in promoting solutions to police and racial violence after the son of one of her closest friends was killed by police in 2003, says the book is a meditation, a mini-dissertation, and a tool for tapping into our imaginations to find new ways forward. The story came to her after a June 2020 visit to Black Lives Matter Plaza, in the shadow of the White House, just minutes from her home.

“After I arrived at Black Lives Matter Plaza, I started to meditate on everything that surrounded me – the people, the posters, the artwork, the boarded-up buildings, and the black iron fence barring people from getting close to the White House. I took pictures and went home, planning to do short social media posts. But, instead, a poem came out, and soon I heard the voice of a child,” said Brewer, a literacy consultant, former teacher, and former journalist. “When Aliya spoke, she kept saying ‘Imagine. Imagine.’ So, in Say Their Names, Aliya invites us to consider the technologies that humankind has imagined to make life more convenient and entertaining. And she invites us to consider the technology of imagination to make human engagement non-violent.”

Brewer added that the child in this story helps remind us that police and racial violence have impacts on children. Indeed, some of the victims in recent years have been children, such as Aiyana Stanley-Jones and Tamir Rice. The child’s voice in this story helps remind us that it’s critical that adults help children process these events and invite them into conversations to imagine ways forward that heal and unite us. The leadership presence of the child in Say Their Names also reminds us of the roles that children have played in social justice movements. There were yesterday’s young civil rights leaders, such as then-6-year-old Ruby Bridges and the teens of the Little Rock Nine. In 2012, we had Malala Yousafzai, of Pakistan, raising her voice, and there are today’s climate leaders, such as Jerome Foster II, of D.C., and Greta Thunberg, of Sweden.


Say Their Names is now available for ordering at all bookstores and Reycraft Books.

Learn more about Reycraft Books and Caroline Brewer via these sites:

www.carolinebrewerbooks.com * facebook.com/carolinebrewerbooks * twitter.com/brewercaroline