Change can be an unsettling thing, and if 2020 has taught us anything it has been how to adapt to our ever-evolving, always-changing surroundings. Learning to cope with change is at the heart of Shermaine Perry-Knights new book, “I Move A Lot And That’s Okay.”
Perry-Knights published her first children’s book last month as a resource for those who struggle with rapid changes.
“City Lights” producer Summer Evans spoke with Shermaine about her new book and how it was closely related to her own childhood.
Her inspiration behind the book:
“I grew up in the military. I was born at one station and a couple weeks later we shipped out to another one. Several weeks after that we moved overseas. So I moved every year, or two, or three years growing up in the military. I really wanted to talk about our experience because I don’t see us represented in books much.”
The importance of representation:
“Growing up in the military, you have a lot of families that are bi-cultural, bi-racial and everyone celebrates that diversity. I learned a lot from my Filipino friends and my Hispanic friends and friends from different backgrounds. My family is from Trinidad and Tobago, so my mom’s side is Black, white and Indian. My dad is African American from here in the U.S. Two different cultures, several different races within one family and you learn a lot and I saw that as a theme around other military families. I said ‘you need to see more mixture among families. I don’t see that enough in children’s books.'”
How this can be a great resource for children:
“There were no books when I grew up that talked about the military kid experience. There were not books talking from a child’s perspective celebrating diversity and how representation matters. There were no books talking about resilience. You had conversations at home.”
Perry-Knights continued, “If nothing else, 2020 has taught me that we have to build bridges across boundaries and we need to learn more from each other, celebrate the differences. We need to really look at how were represented and say ‘There’s something similar about us, let’s learn more about each other.'”