WATERBURY, CT — As protests erupted around the country in response to the shooting deaths of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor and 46-year-old George Floyd, many parents have had to have a tough, but necessary conversation with their children about systemic racism and why organized demonstrations for racial justice are still happening.
“London was learning about slavery and racism in school,” said Darlene Eason, the mother of Our 1st Protest author, London C. Williams. “However, there is nothing like hitting the pavement, seeing, hearing and getting an up close and personal experience with what our people are still experiencing.”
After Williams attended her first protest on May 31st, 2020 in downtown Waterbury, CT with her mother and six-year-old sister, Brooklyn, she wanted to document her experience in a picture book.
“I wanted to inspire other kids like me,” says Williams, a 7th grade student at Brass City Charter School. “I want them to know that their voice can be heard. I want them to know that this is our reality, but if we work together, we can change it.”
Our 1st Protest was illustrated by Subi Bosa, a children’s book illustrator from South Africa and sold more than 1,000 copies within two months. Connecticut Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (D 5th District) purchased 30 copies to distribute to Waterbury schools.
“We often understate the impact of racial tension on our children,” said Congresswoman Hayes. “In this well-written and beautifully illustrated book, London, through her and her sister Brooklyn’s eyes, helps us understand how children are affected. Our 1st Protest gives us a glimpse into their powerful experience and the ways in which they processed the events. It gives me hope to see how she has turned such a traumatic event in our country into a teachable moment for her generation,” Congresswoman Hayes added.
Hard copies of the book are available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Our-1st-Protest London-Williams/dp/0578746417; and Walmart at https://tinyurl.com/Our1stProtest. The hashtag for the project across social media is #our1stprotest.
and the SISTAH Girls Book Club.
London C. Williams is a 7th grade student at Brass City Charter School in Waterbury, CT. She is a two-time national cheerleading champion for the Waterbury Knights and a dancer at Tia Russel Dance Studio. She is a two-time national cheerleading champion for the Waterbury Knights and a dancer at Tia Russel Dance Studio. Williams is also a member of Granville Academy and a member of Zion Baptist Church where she sings in the youth mass choir.