The first children’s book by the Rev. Dr. Michael Waters, senior pastor at Dallas’ Abundant Life AME Church, feels like it might have been written over the past few months, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in May and the protests it inspired. It wasn’t. Unfortunately, For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World (illustrated by Keisha Morris), is as timely now as it was when Waters wrote it a couple of years ago, and it would have been just as timely in the years and decades before that.
But right now, it remains essential reading. For Beautiful Black Boys touches on the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Edwards, and more, but manages to end on a hopeful note, providing a gentle way of broaching the topic with kids. For more help, the book includes a discussion guide put together by Louisville’s Muhammad Ali Center.