In 1925, Langston Hughes published the poem “I, Too, Sing America,” eloquently putting into words the yearning for equality by many people who are black. While many things have changed, inequalities abound. For black and brown communities the realities of these inequalities must be juxtaposed with the strength, beauty, and brilliance of their culture. How does one navigate such a society? How does one instill hope for brighter tomorrows and claim their place in America?
Join Rev. Dr. TLC as she talks with Councilman Kevin Booker and Schercitha Miller, his mother, as they share the joys, complexities, and sometimes painful experiences of living in America. Their strong family legacy of social justice is the bedrock for their commitment to serve, uplift, and empower all people, in general, but Black Indigenous People of Color, in particular. You don’t want to miss this dynamic mother-son duo as they share their personal and professional experiences with dismantling racism.
Terrlyn starts the show with a spiritual breathing exercise. She goes on to break down the meaning of the title of the episode, I, Too, Sing in America. Terrlyn talks about seeing her guest, Councilman Kevin Booker Jr. at a Black Lives Matter rally and hearing him recite the poem of the same name. She shared how his words uplifted the people who wanted to know how to dismantle racism. Terrlyn introduced her guest Councilman Booker Jr and his mother, recurring guest, Schercitha Miller.
After the break, Councilman Booker Jr. shared more on what grounds him. He talks about engaging in yoga and becoming a certified instructor over a three month journey with other people of color. Mrs. Miller shared her experience with raising black children and how she felt responsible to prepare them to be educated and independent. Councilman Booker Jr. added an example of how his mother taught him to take the city bus alone to school by age six. He talked about growing up with a strict mother and how it shaped him as a man.
After the break, Terrlyn talks a little about Councilman Booker Jr.’s biography. She mentioned how he knew from a young age he wanted to commit his life to social justice. Councilman Booker Jr. shares where his motivation derived from and what experiences in middle school helped shape him into the man he is today. Mrs. Miller adds how she gives back and how she instilled those values in her children.
After the break, Councilman Booker Jr. discusses the sacrifices he’s made committing his life to social justice. He shares how he’s sacrificed financial opportunities and having a family because he is dedicated to make sure he can uplift and inform his community. At the end of the segment, Terrlyn and Councilman Booker Jr. talk about tools that can help create more awareness for local government around our youth in these racial tension times. Councilman Booker Jr. recites I, Too, Sing in America poem before ending the segment.
00:00:32.970 --> 00:00:45.360 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: hello, and welcome to dismantle racism, where our goal is to uncover this mantle and eradicate racism this show is such a dynamic show, because on the show we want.
00:00:45.660 --> 00:00:56.340 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: to awaken you to the things that are going on around this country as it relates to race and not just this country, but actually all over the world and it's a show that where we.
00:00:56.760 --> 00:01:01.200 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: understand each other and try to not other.
00:01:01.770 --> 00:01:12.690 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: individuals, and so we want to enlighten you to the ways in which we all can engage in the work of dismantling racism i'm so excited today because.
00:01:12.960 --> 00:01:29.160 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: On today's show I have councilman Booker here, along with sure Keith and Miller, it is my absolute first time having two guests on the show so i'm really, really excited to see what we uncover today but, of course, before I introduce them and we get into.
00:01:29.790 --> 00:01:46.830 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: The show, I want to just invite you to breathe, and I invite you to do so, because when we talk about racism, it has that way of making people sort of tense up or folks will say I don't want to talk about this every week I don't want to hear about it wow.
00:01:47.880 --> 00:01:58.530 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: The more comfortable, we are talking about race, the better able, we are to dismantle race, so I want to get us in that mood to get us in the spirit.
00:01:59.100 --> 00:02:14.250 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: of being able to enter the conversation without anxiety with calmness without fear and with an open heart to say i'm here i'm ready Dr tlc to do the work of dismantling racism.
00:02:15.690 --> 00:02:18.120 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: I just want you to breathe in.
00:02:20.880 --> 00:02:22.740 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and breathe out very deeply.
00:02:25.290 --> 00:02:29.070 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: And I just want you to breathe in I am this.
00:02:30.390 --> 00:02:32.370 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Gray, then I am healed.
00:02:34.110 --> 00:02:36.330 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: breathe out stress.
00:02:38.010 --> 00:02:41.640 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: breathe in assurance and certainty.
00:02:44.340 --> 00:02:46.260 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: breathe out any fear.
00:02:48.840 --> 00:02:50.520 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: breathe in wisdom.
00:02:52.950 --> 00:02:54.540 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: breathe out confusion.
00:02:55.920 --> 00:03:02.220 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: really just take a deep breath and and breathe and energy and renewal.
00:03:04.740 --> 00:03:08.430 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and breathe out any doubt or exhaustion.
00:03:12.420 --> 00:03:14.220 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Now, take another deep breath in.
00:03:15.660 --> 00:03:20.340 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: breathing and hope breathing in peace breathing in love.
00:03:22.050 --> 00:03:25.980 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: breathing in the certainty to create the world that we want.
00:03:28.710 --> 00:03:32.130 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Now, just to cut deep breath and again in breathe out.
00:03:33.210 --> 00:03:46.320 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and say it out all of the things that would interfere with a productive conversation with others, that would lead to dismantling racism.
00:03:49.410 --> 00:03:51.690 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: And so it is, I shall.
00:03:52.980 --> 00:03:57.750 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Today we are going to be talking about Ai to sing America.
00:03:59.040 --> 00:04:10.590 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: In 1925 langston Hughes published the poem I to sing America which eloquently put into words the yearning of people of color particularly black people.
00:04:11.190 --> 00:04:32.850 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: who wanted equality, much has changed since mighty 25, but we still battle racism today, and one of the reasons today that I wanted to entitle this I to sing America, because I heard councilman Kevin Booker who is our guest today recite this poem when we were at.
00:04:34.230 --> 00:04:46.560 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: A rally last year, and at this rally it was around black lives matter and the folks who gathered wanted to know what could they do to dismantle racism.
00:04:47.340 --> 00:05:00.270 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: And councilman Booker ended his talk with I to sing America, and it is so relevant because, while much has changed there's much that needs to be changed.
00:05:00.840 --> 00:05:17.370 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: So, at the end of our program today, you will be delighted to hear councilman Booker recite this piece as well, but today he is here with the wonderful and the amazing shopkeeper Miller, who happens to be his mother as well, who is responsible.
00:05:18.690 --> 00:05:26.640 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: For all that this young man brings to the earth, right now, but she is a dynamic woman in her own right she's been on my show.
00:05:26.910 --> 00:05:45.750 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Before and got rave reviews, so they are back today to kind of talk about how they have engaged in this work of social justice and dismantling racism and to talk about what it has been like to raise in particular for short Keith of what has been like to raise.
00:05:46.890 --> 00:05:47.910 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Black children.
00:05:48.090 --> 00:05:48.480 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Like.
00:05:48.960 --> 00:06:00.150 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: In particular, and what some of those dynamics arm, and so I want to just say a little bit about cosmic Booker he is the founder of Booker empowerment.
00:06:00.600 --> 00:06:06.660 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: He is committed to uplifting and educating individuals and since a very early age.
00:06:07.260 --> 00:06:25.680 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: he's understood the importance of helping others reach their full potential and he's dedicated his life to doing that and he does many, many, many diversity, workshops and lectures he teaches others individuals on how to engage in this conversation he.
00:06:25.710 --> 00:06:26.640 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Also, saying.
00:06:26.820 --> 00:06:33.600 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Men and women who have been sexually assaulted he is us on the city council of the city of new London.
00:06:34.110 --> 00:06:38.670 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Connecticut he serves on the board of directors, for the anti defamation league.
00:06:38.940 --> 00:06:52.440 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: I could go on and on and on about all the wonderful things that he's doing, but we are not going to take our time reading his dossier, but I just want you to hear a little bit about what he has done and sharky.
00:06:53.250 --> 00:07:09.630 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Miller has been in the healthcare industry for over 42 years and i'm sure she could talk to us a lot about ways in which to dismantle racism in our healthcare system, I am delighted, because she is working on her doctorate degree.
00:07:10.800 --> 00:07:26.940 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: At the Omega graduate school of social leadership she's a certified motivational speaker a life coach and again I could go on and on and on reading her diversity, as well, but I want to just jump right in to the question and.
00:07:27.780 --> 00:07:40.080 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: I want to start with you a constant Booker because, for me, doing this work and any work that we do in which we are passionate about there's a grounding that needs to take place.
00:07:40.860 --> 00:07:51.570 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: tell our audience what you do to ground yourself in order to fortify you to do the work that you're passionate about and particularly around dismantling racism.
00:07:52.620 --> 00:07:56.430 Kevin Booker, Jr.: You know, first of all I want to say thank you very much for having me on your show.
00:07:57.270 --> 00:08:06.060 Kevin Booker, Jr.: It is the delight and honor to be on this show, and for my listeners, who are listening right now to the show good morning why those the.
00:08:06.600 --> 00:08:25.890 Kevin Booker, Jr.: ones you're funny fun Jia bongiorno me how many men J still boudreaux number stay so y de Chao ren mongo mongo mongo como yeah so part one on some I Salaam aleikum prevent gluten tar Kelly myra.
00:08:26.310 --> 00:08:29.100 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And, as they say in some neighborhoods what's good.
00:08:29.640 --> 00:08:42.570 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Now, the reason why I started off in those different languages, because I surround myself around positive people of all different cultures all different backgrounds, because we're all in this together to fight the fight.
00:08:43.500 --> 00:08:58.530 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And that's one of the number one things that I do you know it's not it's not just about me by myself, I surround myself around individuals of all different backgrounds who are deeply passionate about this work.
00:08:59.550 --> 00:09:02.610 Kevin Booker, Jr.: You know, because when you're on a ship you can't do it alone.
00:09:03.660 --> 00:09:11.910 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And that's something I learned growing up with my family, you know you need to make sure you surround yourself around individuals who can empower you.
00:09:12.270 --> 00:09:28.290 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And then the number one thing that I love the way you started your show off today um I do breathing exercises as well and that's why I was, I feel so Center now for this show because it's important to take that time to breathe take a walk.
00:09:29.460 --> 00:09:38.760 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Because we have so much going on self care is extremely important and having individuals around you who are also encourage you.
00:09:39.060 --> 00:09:51.660 Kevin Booker, Jr.: and hold you accountable as well right so that's important as we continue on this journey and that's what I do for myself and that's what also I have people around me who have helped me and encouraged me to continue fighting the fight.
00:09:52.200 --> 00:10:05.460 Kevin Booker, Jr.: So, then, I also be in those positions as they're all quote says get comfortable being uncomfortable so when i'm in those positions when I feel a little uncomfortable I know I got to push myself to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
00:10:06.000 --> 00:10:17.430 Kevin Booker, Jr.: To be able to go in those those white spaces, so I can have those conversations and then, when I feel uncomfortable being in that little small town, I know i'm there for a reason God has put me there for a reason.
00:10:18.780 --> 00:10:27.210 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And I take that seriously, but I have to take time for myself take time to make sure i'm doing well, so that I can also empower others.
00:10:27.690 --> 00:10:34.620 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: hmm, thank you for that actually we're going to come back to that in just a minute, because I know that there's another practice that you have that that was.
00:10:35.250 --> 00:10:43.320 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Powerful for our audience as well, but I want to make sure that it gives your keep that time to insert with what grounds, you as well.
00:10:45.270 --> 00:10:55.170 Schercitha Miller: I think the main thing that I ground myself with I just started back walking and as i'm walking him praying, and so I tried to do four to six miles now a day.
00:10:55.710 --> 00:11:08.670 Schercitha Miller: And I am praying prayer walking as I am saying to God, thank you for giving me another day because at this covert season, many people seat seems to be.
00:11:09.300 --> 00:11:23.730 Schercitha Miller: Passing away, so I am born, for what I what i'm doing and my whole thing too is as Kevin stated, I feel grounded for helping people, I am a helper I like to give I like to help.
00:11:24.240 --> 00:11:35.250 Schercitha Miller: Anything I can do, I tried to do that, right now, i'm in a different state and i'm here to help others i'm here to help managers and other leaders to get their.
00:11:37.560 --> 00:11:42.270 Schercitha Miller: laboratory needs together so from being grounded is helping other.
00:11:44.040 --> 00:11:50.130 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: I think that's so powerful and one of the things that's a common theme on this show for my guests whenever I ask this question.
00:11:50.580 --> 00:11:59.550 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: really is about the importance of that self care, we cannot do this work unless we take time out too well.
00:11:59.940 --> 00:12:20.100 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: For me, first and foremost, is connecting with with spirit in some way and that's a part of the healthcare, and so I invite our audience, you know when you engage in any work of dismantling any type of systems or it just engaging in your your passions, it is so important to be grounded.
00:12:22.200 --> 00:12:26.310 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and also to just connect with spirit and source and I love that.
00:12:27.330 --> 00:12:45.660 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: You know councilman when you were talking, you mentioned the support of others, that is really, really important for us to do we're going to need to in just a moment to take a break, but when we do come back councilman I know that you also engage in yoga.
00:12:46.110 --> 00:12:46.620 Kevin Booker, Jr.: um I.
00:12:46.920 --> 00:13:00.480 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: would love for you to just speak a little bit about that and i'd like you to speak about that from the perspective of I know it helps to ground you, but there are also some things that you wanted to make sure racially.
00:13:01.230 --> 00:13:15.270 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: That you covered when you work with people and you're doing yoga you wanted to make sure that folks knew that yoga was for everybody, so if you could talk about that when we come back from the break that's really critical.
00:13:15.870 --> 00:13:33.930 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: for helping to dismantle racism and to dispel myths about who participates in yoga and who does it, so we are going to be right back with my guest today councilman Booker ensure Keith and Miller, this is dismantle racism i'm your host the Reverend Dr tlc.
00:15:51.570 --> 00:15:58.020 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: We are back with my guest today councilman Booker in sure keep them Miller and before.
00:15:58.080 --> 00:16:00.000 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Like we're talking about.
00:16:01.590 --> 00:16:13.830 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: With ground zoo and could you tell us a little bit about yoga and why you engage in the practice of yoga Council broker.
00:16:14.730 --> 00:16:25.200 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Thank you very much, Dr Adrian there's a quote by Professor mk asante jr and he says, when you make an observation you have an obligation.
00:16:26.010 --> 00:16:35.280 Kevin Booker, Jr.: i'm going to say that, for all of you again we're listening when you make an observation you have an obligation, so when I when I first started observing yoga.
00:16:36.750 --> 00:16:42.360 Kevin Booker, Jr.: I said, well, what is this, you know, like, I really wanted to know a little bit more about this art form.
00:16:43.140 --> 00:16:55.350 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And, as I got to learn about it, I learned that it wasn't just for my white counterparts and I started learning the history of yoga how it came from the Middle East, and also from ancient Egypt as well.
00:16:56.280 --> 00:17:03.180 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And when I started learning the history of it, I said, you know, this is something that I need to also embrace and embody for my own self.
00:17:03.750 --> 00:17:13.440 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And also encourage others along the way, so last year, I had the opportunity to go through a yoga teacher training 200 level.
00:17:14.400 --> 00:17:26.190 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Where I got certified as a yoga instructor with 2423 other people of color and it was phenomenal during cold it and we all got certified.
00:17:26.850 --> 00:17:37.170 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And what the one of the things that we had to do because we actually see scholarships for going through this this journey to become certified within a three month period.
00:17:38.070 --> 00:17:45.120 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And we receive the scholarship we went through the training, but we had to make sure that we came back to our communities.
00:17:45.780 --> 00:17:57.690 Kevin Booker, Jr.: and empower our communities and be mentors for people in our communities, so that they can also empower and become certified yoga teacher trainers as well, so, then we can also spread self care.
00:17:58.770 --> 00:18:07.200 Kevin Booker, Jr.: understanding that being on your mat diversifying that matt that not just your White counterparts have to be on that match, but you can be on that mat as well.
00:18:07.590 --> 00:18:16.530 Kevin Booker, Jr.: That understanding that you can empower yourself be healthy and then also touch the lives of your community and encourage them as well.
00:18:17.040 --> 00:18:26.850 Kevin Booker, Jr.: So it's been such an incredible journey I learn meditation things that I wasn't doing before breathing exercises like you just start begin your your your program with.
00:18:27.390 --> 00:18:38.190 Kevin Booker, Jr.: All these different techniques have allowed me to tap into myself, even when I have that doubt, even when I feel like i'm not confident enough about a situation I learned to take a few seconds.
00:18:38.370 --> 00:18:47.310 Kevin Booker, Jr.: A few minutes put myself in a room also say a macho for myself, so I can encourage myself to be a better human being to push forward.
00:18:47.730 --> 00:18:59.880 Kevin Booker, Jr.: When i'm in those tough situations when i'm dealing in those white spaces and navigate through those spaces yoga has given given me the tools that I need to continue fighting what we call white supremacy on.
00:19:00.330 --> 00:19:01.440 Kevin Booker, Jr.: So many levels.
00:19:01.890 --> 00:19:03.210 Kevin Booker, Jr.: So thank you for that question.
00:19:03.570 --> 00:19:09.810 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: And that's absolutely beautiful because, again, if we are going to engage in this work, we need to know how.
00:19:10.350 --> 00:19:22.620 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: To stay centered and stay focused and I think it's really important for us to also understand, particularly those of us who are religious or have a deep rootedness.
00:19:23.580 --> 00:19:31.650 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: With spirit is that there's more than one way to to connect with our our higher selves because for me.
00:19:32.520 --> 00:19:40.320 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: i'm the manifestation of spirit, so I have to be able to connect with that and there's more than one way of doing that and I think yoga is a beautiful.
00:19:40.650 --> 00:19:52.350 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: way of doing that, so thank you for bringing that to our Community and helping us to understand that it isn't just for other folks who don't look like us right so.
00:19:52.770 --> 00:20:02.160 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: You certainly have done a lot in your life, you are a councilman, among other things, but you didn't just wake up one morning and decided they.
00:20:02.280 --> 00:20:02.700 wanted to be.
00:20:03.840 --> 00:20:16.980 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: I would imagine that your upbringing had a lot to do with that so sure Keith I want to go to you just for a minute and could you talk to me about how you instilled in your children.
00:20:17.850 --> 00:20:30.750 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: The idea of that they were more than what the world told them that they are because the world says something completely different like men are considered endangered.
00:20:30.960 --> 00:20:43.830 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Dangerous right all of those messages that we get suddenly, as well as not so subtly right so talk to me a little bit about how you raised, your voice your men.
00:20:45.060 --> 00:20:53.670 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: your daughter as well sorry to offend but I come from a big family and we did, to say the boys and the girls, no matter how old we are so.
00:20:56.460 --> 00:21:06.300 Schercitha Miller: For me, the first the first line of Defense is that we have to realize that you are the mother and not just a friend.
00:21:07.440 --> 00:21:31.290 Schercitha Miller: I was not one of those type of mothers who said, because I was a young mother, we I didn't go out partying with my kids are wanting to hang out with my kids my whole thing of telling them consistently I am your mother first and I demanded respect from them, especially from a young men.
00:21:32.700 --> 00:21:51.390 Schercitha Miller: There was, I wasn't the type of woman that went out partying or i'm just did things that kids would later on, bring to your attention, as they got older putting you on this guilt, but the one thing I have to say about Kevin I tell everyone this story.
00:21:54.930 --> 00:22:05.370 Schercitha Miller: Is Kevin had this this way of thinking that because he's seen his friends wearing 100 and $200 sneakers.
00:22:06.870 --> 00:22:13.470 Schercitha Miller: That he should be able to have the same thing, so one day I Kevin came home and he said.
00:22:13.950 --> 00:22:30.480 Schercitha Miller: That he wanted these sneakers and he had an attitude and I was so tired and I think cosby show was on and my youngest son was sitting next to me watching cosmic Kevin was ranting and raving and he's gonna leave because he wanted these sneakers and thought about that.
00:22:30.810 --> 00:22:36.150 Schercitha Miller: So seven wise you don't have to run you can walk.
00:22:40.380 --> 00:22:44.520 Schercitha Miller: left out the door when his little book bag on like he's leaving.
00:22:46.620 --> 00:22:53.580 Schercitha Miller: And he called me like five minutes later and Kevin said to me mom i'm just letting you know i'm at.
00:22:53.760 --> 00:22:54.660 Schercitha Miller: Salvation Army.
00:22:55.560 --> 00:23:03.210 Schercitha Miller: And i'm going to be fine I said Kevin you have three minutes to get in this House, I said three or seven minutes to get in this House.
00:23:03.570 --> 00:23:08.790 Schercitha Miller: Well, whatever time it was it was less than what I had stated and Kevin was in the House.
00:23:09.120 --> 00:23:20.190 Schercitha Miller: From that day, to this day and well, let me retract that my youngest son, said to me mom I can't believe you're letting go I said, if you don't shut your mouth you're going to leave soon.
00:23:21.090 --> 00:23:34.470 Schercitha Miller: So um I just was one of those type of mothers and Kevin came back in and like, as I was going to say from that day, to this day i've never ever heard anything about any sneakers.
00:23:35.850 --> 00:23:43.500 Schercitha Miller: or anything like that he's laughing cuz I mean I taught them that you know I used to tell them Nike has.
00:23:44.580 --> 00:23:59.220 Schercitha Miller: Three miles i'm not going to make someone else Richard, and I also used to tell them about different roads Now you can take go to a straight road you could get off the road sometimes getting off that road is hard to get back on but I used to tell them look.
00:24:00.270 --> 00:24:11.100 Schercitha Miller: i'm telling you get locked up or something I gotta go to court to hear a judge who's not going to be black tell me what I need to do first of all I gotta hire an attorney who's not going to be black.
00:24:12.270 --> 00:24:23.310 Schercitha Miller: And then I gotta listen to a judge tell me what I need to do at my black sun which i'm going to really go off on you in the Court they gotta lock me up because i'm not having it.
00:24:24.120 --> 00:24:32.460 Schercitha Miller: So I think that it starts the grounding starts when they're young and you just have to let them know look, this is what i'm expecting from you.
00:24:32.790 --> 00:24:48.330 Schercitha Miller: These are the things I wanted you to do, and the one thing i've always said to Kevin and to his brother and was the only thing I want out of you guys is to do and be successful get badger be educated and be successful.
00:24:50.130 --> 00:25:03.360 Schercitha Miller: And you owe me nothing you know how some parents and say, well, you all may know you owe me nothing, all you owe me is to be the best that you can be it may not be the path, I want you to be, but you be the best that you can be.
00:25:04.320 --> 00:25:11.040 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: So so there's a couple things that come up from you saying that and I didn't know she was going to tell that story.
00:25:11.100 --> 00:25:11.220 and
00:25:13.170 --> 00:25:16.470 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Be prepared whatever stories come out and well you.
00:25:16.530 --> 00:25:29.460 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: know I can imagine that that a lot of parents have told their their sons this and they still end up with things happening throughout their lives, and so I just wanted to.
00:25:30.450 --> 00:25:43.230 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: First and foremost, just i'm very grateful that kevin's path so come on this road of success it doesn't mean that he didn't have any experiences of racism on the way, but I think that.
00:25:44.160 --> 00:25:53.970 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: So many bite parents have to have that talk about going before the judge or you can't do the same thing that other people do etc, etc.
00:25:54.330 --> 00:26:04.590 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: And we've seen that, despite that talk sometimes things happen because the system is what it is, but there is a story that Kevin told me when we were talking.
00:26:05.250 --> 00:26:23.700 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: That, I think, also helps to ground and ground your children, but it also helped him to have this tenacity, that he has, and this will to help other people he explained that there's something that happened when he was six years old.
00:26:24.510 --> 00:26:24.900 That.
00:26:27.240 --> 00:26:38.670 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: So I won't let him share that a little bit, but it speaks to it speaks to your parenting and it speaks to what you instilled in him so Do you remember what we talked about counselor.
00:26:38.670 --> 00:26:39.120 Yes.
00:26:40.290 --> 00:26:41.220 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: That a little bit.
00:26:41.340 --> 00:26:47.730 Kevin Booker, Jr.: yeah so there's really two incidents, but i'll share just the one for time sake i'm when I was six years old.
00:26:48.120 --> 00:26:54.600 Kevin Booker, Jr.: My mother actually trained me taught me how to take the city bus by myself and six years old, and the first grade.
00:26:55.050 --> 00:27:07.710 Kevin Booker, Jr.: With my briefcase and my suit and I would just walk all the way up the street every morning and catch the bus by myself in the first grade so maybe you can expand on that really quick, you know what was that, like and why did you do there.
00:27:09.210 --> 00:27:09.690 Schercitha Miller: well.
00:27:10.890 --> 00:27:22.860 Schercitha Miller: At that time, you were in private school I had you're attending Catholic school and the bus that you could take would drop you off right at the school at the city bus and the teachers will walk.
00:27:23.430 --> 00:27:36.000 Schercitha Miller: After school walk the students to the bus stop to take the bus, because the same bus came pick them up, the reason why is because I wanted him to understand if i'm not around and for some.
00:27:36.510 --> 00:27:56.670 Schercitha Miller: Unfortunate reason God decides to take me early I wanted him to be able to be somewhat independent, even though it was an early age, but he needed to know and as a male you need to know okay my mom left me, but I can take care of myself one at the end dependency more.
00:27:57.090 --> 00:28:00.210 Kevin Booker, Jr.: that's what she taught me growing us.
00:28:01.230 --> 00:28:03.180 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: More importance of being.
00:28:03.300 --> 00:28:09.600 Kevin Booker, Jr.: dependent on pause the understanding yourself as a young black man navigating to be spaces.
00:28:10.620 --> 00:28:14.760 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: And I imagine she gave you some techniques and do's and don'ts.
00:28:14.850 --> 00:28:15.930 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Oh just.
00:28:17.550 --> 00:28:25.140 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Briefly, my life to your do's and don'ts like remember on the bus when I would get on the bus make sure you sit we're.
00:28:26.100 --> 00:28:26.850 Schercitha Miller: In the front.
00:28:27.060 --> 00:28:36.720 Schercitha Miller: row always say in the front you're not allowed to sit in the back, and the other thing is you're not talking to any strangers at all I don't care what they say what they asked you, you are.
00:28:37.740 --> 00:28:38.040 Schercitha Miller: Not.
00:28:38.280 --> 00:28:39.540 Schercitha Miller: To find out that you did.
00:28:40.530 --> 00:28:46.110 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: So, so I guess, he must have been a quiet when that's not him now but.
00:28:46.140 --> 00:28:47.940 Schercitha Miller: You know, is no.
00:28:48.270 --> 00:28:49.380 No.
00:28:51.450 --> 00:28:52.350 Schercitha Miller: That was like.
00:28:57.510 --> 00:29:09.900 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Well, we do have to take a really quick break, we will be back with our guest today councilman Booker and sure Keith and Miller, this is dismantle racism on your host Reverend Dr tlc.
00:31:41.970 --> 00:31:56.160 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: We are back today my guest is councilman Booker as well as should keep the Miller his mother and I want to ask you councilman when I read your bio.
00:31:57.090 --> 00:32:16.650 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Your bio talks about you learning at an early age, they wanted to be committed to doing this work of really helping to raise others up to their fullest potential what happened at around age 12 or so that you decided on just went to dedicate my life to doing this work.
00:32:17.820 --> 00:32:26.820 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Well, you know so that's that's a really incredible question because it's a question that made me have to reflect on my life and my journey and.
00:32:27.390 --> 00:32:36.720 Kevin Booker, Jr.: When I think about what made me commit my life to social justice so in middle school and it really started when I was seven.
00:32:37.260 --> 00:32:45.930 Kevin Booker, Jr.: My mother, my mother saying you know every summer I want you guys to go to camp, I want, I want you to see you a way to go to Virginia to see your grandparents.
00:32:46.410 --> 00:32:53.520 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And then, when I got to fifth grade, I had the opportunity, I got scholarships every summer, because I would apply to all these different private schools.
00:32:54.030 --> 00:32:59.520 Kevin Booker, Jr.: So I was attending public school and then I had the opportunity, go to kingswood Oxford and West hartford Connecticut.
00:33:00.030 --> 00:33:11.820 Kevin Booker, Jr.: During the summer and then I have opportunity to loomis shaky and when I was in seventh grade, which is a private school in Windsor Connecticut for six weeks, I will go there every single day and then at the time I was also work.
00:33:12.450 --> 00:33:26.820 Kevin Booker, Jr.: At a pizza restaurant and my mother got me a job for where I was working 15 hours during the summer and my mother knows all this and I was getting paid to work behind the table behind the table and going to summer school, at the same time and.
00:33:27.870 --> 00:33:33.840 Kevin Booker, Jr.: It was it was such a great experience, because at the time I got to see the disparities growing up in the inner city of hartford Connecticut.
00:33:34.110 --> 00:33:46.680 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And then going to Windsor Connecticut and same Jesus, and my published today is 99% black, we do not have the same services or same resources that i'm seeing here at Luna shaping Windsor Connecticut.
00:33:47.610 --> 00:33:53.100 Kevin Booker, Jr.: So I saw the way some of the opportunities that those kids had they have fencing they had growing.
00:33:53.490 --> 00:34:00.840 Kevin Booker, Jr.: They had golf they have sports that I was interested in and playing, but I could never participate in play in those sports.
00:34:01.380 --> 00:34:08.130 Kevin Booker, Jr.: I had only sports ever offered to me was basketball, football I couldn't I couldn't participate in fencing and look crossing.
00:34:08.670 --> 00:34:22.380 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Things within that sort of nature, so, then I began to see the disparities that existed, and I said, you know what when I get older, I want to make sure every single person has resources and access not just based off of your zip code.
00:34:23.040 --> 00:34:24.510 Kevin Booker, Jr.: So that's what that's the death.
00:34:24.570 --> 00:34:27.570 Kevin Booker, Jr.: That fueled my fire and at 12 years old.
00:34:28.410 --> 00:34:40.200 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: So it's interesting because sure I keep their really was grooming you without even having to say it every day that there are these disparities, because when she put you in different situations.
00:34:40.560 --> 00:34:52.620 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: That was showing you what's available to you, so I really love it because, in addition to you telling him, this is the path to go you're actually saying you can have this as well.
00:34:53.130 --> 00:35:07.020 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: But it also and I believe this comes from your family history of social justice you're also saying it's, not just for you to have this night give back so check it, they could you talk a little bit about your.
00:35:08.070 --> 00:35:16.050 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Your mantra of giving back and how you instill that getting back ethic into your children.
00:35:17.640 --> 00:35:27.210 Schercitha Miller: The best way I can say this is, I always use the hand analogy of you open up your hand you receive a tight fist receives nothing.
00:35:28.530 --> 00:35:40.200 Schercitha Miller: So you need to always think about there's always someone, no matter how much little or less, you may have that there's always someone else that needs a little guidance or assistance.
00:35:40.740 --> 00:35:55.320 Schercitha Miller: And even up to today and Kevin knows knows how I am I do not second guess of what I can do for someone might be somewhere and somebody will say oh I love your pocketbook I said well you know what the next time I come i'm going to bring you a pocket book.
00:35:55.500 --> 00:35:56.220 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Yes, she will.
00:36:00.810 --> 00:36:01.230 Kevin Booker, Jr.: She bought.
00:36:04.590 --> 00:36:10.230 Schercitha Miller: Because my whole thing is, is that whatever you need i'm.
00:36:11.640 --> 00:36:14.640 Schercitha Miller: Why not give, why not do for that person.
00:36:15.930 --> 00:36:30.780 Schercitha Miller: Kevin knows I just I did something for us, I love to help the youth and i'm for some apparent reason I have teenagers that gravitate to me and always want to be with me and.
00:36:31.530 --> 00:36:39.090 Schercitha Miller: I have a 20 year olds that are twins and Connecticut right now that they're contacting me consistently about where you're moving to where you going.
00:36:39.960 --> 00:36:45.330 Schercitha Miller: I miss you and i'm like oh Lord give me strength, but is that because of the gifting.
00:36:45.900 --> 00:36:56.430 Schercitha Miller: You know, when your mom was sick I would drive all the way from Tampa to get to them to make sure they were Okay, and I had to drive them all the way up to Connecticut which Kevin knows.
00:36:57.150 --> 00:37:11.520 Schercitha Miller: And fly back home this thing a, which was a lot, but I did it but The thing is, is that people don't forget when you do and it's not that you give to say i'm giving you give because it's from your heart and people know your heart your heart.
00:37:12.570 --> 00:37:26.010 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: And just good mm hmm and I think that that's so I mean you've you've just actually said so much in there to to unpack, and so I just appreciate the the idea of.
00:37:26.940 --> 00:37:40.680 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: We continue to keep giving back in order to help other folks come raised or their fullest potential, which is what Kevin is saying that he realized very early on in life but that's because you modeled it for him.
00:37:40.860 --> 00:37:42.720 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Maybe you model did to say.
00:37:42.840 --> 00:37:55.110 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: That just because we may be a people who are oppressed we don't have to live in that oppression, we wrap right raise ourselves higher than that oppression and I want to talk a little bit.
00:37:55.110 --> 00:38:06.150 Kevin Booker, Jr.: About because I know your dad yes yeah I just want to say, also by your you know when I when I think of like my mother just said, people don't people don't forget what you do right.
00:38:06.720 --> 00:38:20.820 Kevin Booker, Jr.: and talking about voluntary I remember when I was 15 years old, and I remember this so clearly um I was in my art history course and and classical maggot high school in hartford Connecticut and.
00:38:21.960 --> 00:38:35.190 Kevin Booker, Jr.: One of my friends his his father killed his mother so his father was going to prison, and one of the teacher said in class, we have no idea what's going to happen to this young man, he was never a close friend of mine.
00:38:36.060 --> 00:38:52.230 Kevin Booker, Jr.: But I was really distraught by what happened and I went home, and I said to my mother, I said mom one of my friends is his parents passed away I think his father will probably be incarcerated for what happened my mother said Well he can come and stay with us.
00:38:53.400 --> 00:38:58.470 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And she took him in for an entire year and the three of us lived in one room together.
00:38:59.670 --> 00:39:12.420 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And she treated him, just like us make sure he had everything, just like us, he was not blood, he was not even a close friend of mine, but my mother made sure he had or everything that he needed.
00:39:13.440 --> 00:39:18.240 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And what that taught me a 15 years old, was the power of voluntary and given.
00:39:19.110 --> 00:39:26.550 Kevin Booker, Jr.: You don't have to have someone someone doesn't have to be blood, so no one's a have to be connected to you, but you just have to have that good giving spirit.
00:39:27.240 --> 00:39:37.890 Kevin Booker, Jr.: and be genuine about it and that's something that I learned based off my mother modeling that behavior at such a young age, not just talking about it but modern behavior.
00:39:38.730 --> 00:39:44.790 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: That is absolutely beautiful, I think we all just need to take a deep breath, even with that.
00:39:45.480 --> 00:39:54.810 Schercitha Miller: But then also Kevin neglected to tell you that he had siblings that kept coming as well, and I have the siblings in and out as well.
00:39:57.510 --> 00:40:06.150 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: So there's somewhere, though sharky that that you models that it was okay for Kevin to come home and say what can we do.
00:40:08.070 --> 00:40:12.810 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: doesn't just say what can we do it that hasn't been modeled for them.
00:40:13.860 --> 00:40:25.620 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: And what I hear you talking about in your stories after stories after stories is the importance of the ways in which we teach our kids about who they are.
00:40:26.520 --> 00:40:35.790 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: And about who's they are, and I know for you from talking to you that you have the strong spiritual connection but who's they are in terms of the.
00:40:36.210 --> 00:40:47.760 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: The higher consciousness there we are not here just for ourselves, we are all interconnected, and so I hear that, in the stories that you all are weaving today.
00:40:48.030 --> 00:41:01.710 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Is that in order for us to do this work or any work that we do, we must do it together we must teach that we have to have the other, and so in that story of that young man.
00:41:02.040 --> 00:41:13.080 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: cool lost both his mother and father, at the same time you're learning about the interconnectedness I must do something to help them, I must be woke.
00:41:14.400 --> 00:41:30.150 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Because, in order for us to do this work, we must wake up to what's happening to other people, and a lot of us just are not we are self absorbed and you can't do this work or any other work and be self absorbed Now I want to.
00:41:30.720 --> 00:41:41.400 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Getting it spoke about the volunteerism and I know that you volunteer a lot now can you talk about some of the places where you volunteer maybe just a couple of.
00:41:41.490 --> 00:41:42.150 The organization.
00:41:43.290 --> 00:41:55.950 Kevin Booker, Jr.: yeah absolutely so I volunteered for the Red Cross, where I do a lot of help with disaster work whenever it is a situation where I was helping whalers and new London Connecticut where my deliver food on Saturdays.
00:41:56.580 --> 00:42:02.160 Kevin Booker, Jr.: To a lot of the various families within my own city and then something has been very.
00:42:03.240 --> 00:42:11.820 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Life rewarding for me in the past four years is reading to third graders because five years ago, I learned that.
00:42:12.420 --> 00:42:21.780 Kevin Booker, Jr.: When you know, sociologists, they will they came out with some research and said that you know they determine how many juvenile prison cells, they should build.
00:42:22.170 --> 00:42:31.590 Kevin Booker, Jr.: By how efficient third graders a third grader can read, so one of my friends challenged me five years ago and said hey why don't you volunteer at.
00:42:32.070 --> 00:42:39.150 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Third grade class and work with those third graders second graders and it's been rewarding and life, giving.
00:42:39.690 --> 00:42:46.110 Kevin Booker, Jr.: So that's some of the work that i've been doing and I just love it and just going back to my Alma mater going back to.
00:42:46.500 --> 00:42:53.220 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Working with in London high school students and just you know the middle school doing morning announcements when I started off with the greetings.
00:42:53.550 --> 00:43:10.500 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And also every month just shedding light every day on different cultural components so volunteering is something I learned by my parents my also my grandparents people within my community and it's something I will continue until the day I die.
00:43:11.040 --> 00:43:22.290 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: um you know we have to take a break, but when we come back so our audience is listening to all these things that you are doing, and we haven't even talked about what you do as a councilman.
00:43:22.860 --> 00:43:33.060 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: But there are sacrifices when you do this work, so when we come back after the break i'd love for you to talk about some of the sacrifices with committing your life.
00:43:33.450 --> 00:43:43.140 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: To this work of because we still aren't talking about dismantling racism, when you go into all of these places where you're volunteering and you're helping.
00:43:43.350 --> 00:43:56.580 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: With reading because you're helping to reduce the school to prison pipeline right and so i'd love to talk about that when we come back we're gonna take a quick break this is dismantle racism i'm your host the Reverend Dr tlc.
00:46:28.950 --> 00:46:43.020 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: We are back with dismantle racism i'm your host the Reverend Dr tlc we've been engaging in a dynamic discussion today with councilman Booker and sure keep them Miller and before the break I talked about.
00:46:44.250 --> 00:46:55.500 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: The sacrifices that we all make when we're engaging in this work, whenever i'm teaching my courses on dismantling racism, I asked the participants to think about what they're willing to sacrifice.
00:46:55.980 --> 00:47:04.530 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: To engage in this work, and so I asked you today councilman Booker because I know that you do a lot of trainings as well.
00:47:04.950 --> 00:47:19.500 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: On diversity and inclusion and just really the ways in which you live, your life, what are you sacrificing to do all the things that you're doing to help you know raise individuals to their fullest potential.
00:47:19.680 --> 00:47:20.040 hmm.
00:47:21.270 --> 00:47:31.170 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Well, dark David so that's a really great question um what I think about the whole idea of sacrificing I would say about 2022 years ago.
00:47:31.950 --> 00:47:42.750 Kevin Booker, Jr.: I remember being on the city bus and driving through harford and looking at the city where I grew up and things that I encountered and watching the same cycle just continue on.
00:47:43.830 --> 00:47:58.530 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And when I started volunteering in the camps, you know I would meet a lot of students, when I was trying to find fit on my passion that way, I said to myself jeez you know a lot of the kids would come up to me and say you know, Mr I never had an opportunity to speak to a man.
00:47:59.850 --> 00:48:10.110 Kevin Booker, Jr.: um I never had an opportunity to ask questions about how to how to deal with how to prepare myself for college, how do I, how do I interact or go to a pw.
00:48:10.800 --> 00:48:26.430 Kevin Booker, Jr.: A predominantly white institution, so that I lose a sense of self and and and how do I navigate through that and still be myself my authentic self so during that during this course i'm in my life, you know I sacrifice family cabin my own family.
00:48:28.200 --> 00:48:41.490 Kevin Booker, Jr.: In order to really commit myself fully to this fight and i'm and I learned along the journey by reading my history and learning about my own people and learning about my own plight that many of us had to do that.
00:48:42.300 --> 00:48:58.080 Kevin Booker, Jr.: um in order to continue on this legacy in this journey now some of us are fortunate and blessed to be able to have a family and be able to continue to work but um I sacrifice family a lot and a lot of times also sacrifice opportunities financially and economically.
00:48:59.130 --> 00:49:05.790 Kevin Booker, Jr.: In order to continue doing this fight, when you get into education um you may not receive as much money there's been times, where.
00:49:06.270 --> 00:49:14.040 Kevin Booker, Jr.: I didn't receive any money, I was already making maybe 20 some thousand dollars a year trying to work and work in three to four part time jobs.
00:49:14.520 --> 00:49:22.650 Kevin Booker, Jr.: But I was still dedicated to the cause still dedicated to making sure that I can uplift and empower my people.
00:49:23.100 --> 00:49:31.290 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Not just my people but also educating others around who are not from my community to understand that we have, we need to build these bridges.
00:49:31.710 --> 00:49:37.170 Kevin Booker, Jr.: So that their children can also be leaders in a global society.
00:49:37.890 --> 00:49:45.420 Kevin Booker, Jr.: So you know I love the work I love the fact that I made the sacrifices, I will continue to make the sacrifices.
00:49:45.690 --> 00:50:04.260 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Because this is what i'm passionate about and I was thinking about the former President Nelson Mandela and he said, education is the most powerful tool, you can use to change the world and that's why I continue to embody the sacrificial mount motive, or you know.
00:50:05.340 --> 00:50:16.320 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Ideology because it continues to help me to persevere move forward and I was also taught this model throughout my life with my family my parents as well.
00:50:18.180 --> 00:50:32.340 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: And so, even with you making that sacrifice is also a sacrifice for your mom too because you've chosen that this is your work and that you're going to sacrifice having a family of your own, or at least for now.
00:50:32.400 --> 00:50:33.180 Kevin Booker, Jr.: For now, what.
00:50:33.270 --> 00:50:45.270 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: But that But that also means that it's a sacrifice for her because you know most moms are just can't wait until they get those people like that now, but but but.
00:50:46.380 --> 00:50:51.750 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: She has multiple grandkids in her life now through the kids that you mentor.
00:50:52.140 --> 00:50:56.010 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: And the kids that you've chosen to Father in a different way.
00:50:56.250 --> 00:50:59.520 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Correct also comes from her modeling.
00:50:59.970 --> 00:51:05.550 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: because she showed you at age 15 we bring people into this home.
00:51:05.670 --> 00:51:08.130 that's where I learned become.
00:51:09.210 --> 00:51:20.220 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: As you said to me of family is not just blood, you know he thought he was educating me sure I keep that when we recorded it's like families, not just blood and I said yeah I got that.
00:51:20.250 --> 00:51:21.120 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: I got that but.
00:51:21.690 --> 00:51:23.340 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: As we're in this culture.
00:51:23.520 --> 00:51:25.260 Kevin Booker, Jr.: We understand you know.
00:51:25.560 --> 00:51:31.560 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: I do want to just because we only have just a few more minutes left, I want to ask you really quick quickly.
00:51:32.580 --> 00:51:45.930 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Because you're a councilman and you've seen the politics, what do you think is needed to create more awareness, for local government around our youth and racism and that sort of thing.
00:51:46.470 --> 00:51:47.100 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Absolutely.
00:51:47.490 --> 00:51:51.000 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Thank you very much for that question what I really like to see.
00:51:52.020 --> 00:52:00.030 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Is a pipeline so like a way, you can have students on the middle school level, I think it needs to start early really like fifth sixth grade.
00:52:00.660 --> 00:52:09.270 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Because when I think about myself in fifth or sixth grade you know, I was really interested in and and and learning about local government and other things as well.
00:52:09.660 --> 00:52:22.980 Kevin Booker, Jr.: So you need to have a pipeline where kids can actually follow maybe come in, after school and do a one hour a week where they can sit down with a local elected official.
00:52:23.700 --> 00:52:34.290 Kevin Booker, Jr.: or a state official and follow them sit in a committee meeting where they can begin to learn so by the time they're 1819 you'll have an understanding of local government.
00:52:34.800 --> 00:52:43.410 Kevin Booker, Jr.: The structure of checks and balances and then I think that will also increase more people who have been historically disenfranchised.
00:52:43.830 --> 00:52:53.280 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And positions where they will run for like they'll run run to be elected officials so, but we have to start creating that pipeline now.
00:52:53.820 --> 00:53:05.400 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Not just in the city in London but throughout the state of Connecticut throughout the nation, so we can start having more individuals who are aware of the power that exists within their own town or city.
00:53:06.420 --> 00:53:10.260 Kevin Booker, Jr.: So that's what I would like to see throughout the country.
00:53:11.490 --> 00:53:11.880 Kevin Booker, Jr.: and
00:53:11.970 --> 00:53:29.670 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: And, are there any particular things that you notice when you're traveling through out the different citizen cities, excuse me around black right issue or people of color issues and whites, what do you what is some of the biggest disparities or incidents that have happened.
00:53:30.150 --> 00:53:36.570 Kevin Booker, Jr.: yeah so it's interesting so recently um you know when I think about like about about just just track.
00:53:37.710 --> 00:53:46.620 Kevin Booker, Jr.: and new Hampshire let's take new Hampshire, for example, the state of new Hampshire the state of new Hampshire when you go on a tour at the state Capitol there.
00:53:47.610 --> 00:54:03.750 Kevin Booker, Jr.: They do not have any elected officials black elected officials or people of color they've been elected in the State of New Hampshire so you look at Portsmouth, you will get Manchester you look at concord right just those three particular areas and new Hampshire.
00:54:05.730 --> 00:54:23.100 Kevin Booker, Jr.: No black representation know minority representation at all Manchester new Hampshire is 50% minority 85% white No one on their city council, a town council is an elected official as black or brown period.
00:54:24.360 --> 00:54:32.550 Kevin Booker, Jr.: horseman is where black people build a majority of those homes and new Hampshire there's no black or brown representation there.
00:54:33.300 --> 00:54:47.040 Kevin Booker, Jr.: So i'm just using new Hampshire as an example, because that exists throughout the country right that's something that we need to begin to see that shift, because who is representing people who look like you and I, at the table.
00:54:48.180 --> 00:54:50.730 Kevin Booker, Jr.: You know if they're not in those positions of influence.
00:54:51.240 --> 00:54:57.420 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: So we're so grateful that you are in those positions of influence and that you will continue to strive.
00:54:58.230 --> 00:55:07.080 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: To higher goals, we are at a time here today and I just want to look just let our audience, to know that actually councilman book.
00:55:07.800 --> 00:55:18.210 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Excuse me, the councilman has three books that will be coming out so we don't have time to list all of those books tell people how to learn more about you to.
00:55:19.290 --> 00:55:25.260 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: be in touch with you, so they can learn more about the books, the work you do political aspirations, etc.
00:55:26.220 --> 00:55:34.440 Kevin Booker, Jr.: yeah so I have one book that's coming out i'm going to co author on the book and merging men that'll be out in January, but tower tower hall.
00:55:34.950 --> 00:55:39.510 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Which is a great book another book is a children's book that will be released, also in January as well.
00:55:39.870 --> 00:55:48.030 Kevin Booker, Jr.: And then i'm also working on a morning announcement book so on the sub workbook so i'm really looking forward to these three projects they're going to be very empowering for.
00:55:48.240 --> 00:55:56.130 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Many people are all different levels, so thank you very much, Dr avery for having me on your show my love you as well i'd be so much.
00:55:56.340 --> 00:55:59.130 Kevin Booker, Jr.: For everything giving you tools to be able to move forward.
00:56:00.300 --> 00:56:04.980 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: I think the both of you for being on the show, I just want to tell our guests to tune into.
00:56:06.390 --> 00:56:15.480 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: dismantle racism every week and, if you want to know more about me or any of my guests go to sacred intelligence die COM, we have just a couple of seconds so.
00:56:16.620 --> 00:56:19.650 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Kevin could you just please end with I to sing America.
00:56:20.310 --> 00:56:38.880 Kevin Booker, Jr.: Yes, I to sing America by length us 1925 I to sing America, I am the darker brother they send me to eat and the kitchen when company comes, but I laugh hahaha.
00:56:39.420 --> 00:57:03.360 Kevin Booker, Jr.: eat well and grow strong tomorrow i'll sit at the dinner table when company comes nobody a dare say to me eat in the kitchen then besides they'll see how beautiful I am and be ashamed I to seam America.
00:57:06.270 --> 00:57:15.420 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Thank you so much Thank you so much we'll see you next time on dismantle racism be well be encouraged and be blessed bye for now.