Professional Interview with the Award-winning Author Tymeka Coney
I Don’t Like Racism. Is the book inspired by real-life events?
This book was inspired by the current climate of the world in which we live in. After the death of George Floyd, May 2020, as a result of Police Brutality, it reignited the Black Lives Matter movements and his six-year old daughter quoted, “My Daddy Changed The World.” This further reminded me that this subject matter makes an impact on the lives of our children and I was also reminded of the day I too experienced police brutality first hand and since I survived it, it is now my duty to further the awareness against police brutality and racism for all ages and genders and promote equality for all mankind through my book and with the platform I am afforded as an Author with this book, “I Don’t Like Racism.”
How was your experience in writing I Don’t Like Racism?
The experience was fun and fulfilling. I felt a sense of pride and dignity and fulfillment to know that I am putting positive content into the world that will make an impact into the lives of others..especially into the minds and lives of our young children as they are our future. One of my life’s missions is to inspire and excel the lives of others mentally, emotionally and spiritually through my gifts/creative arts.
“This book seeks to inspire us all to love each other despite the color of our skin.”-Tymeka Coney
How serious is the issue of Racism in the Digital World?
Racism is serious all over the world. Just like the Pandemic is an Epidemic, Racism is an Epidemic as the numbers continue to increase in 2020. It affects us all digitally and in person/physically. You can’t go anywhere on social media, listen to the radio or the news or just in simple interactions day to day in the community and all over the world and not hear about racism and it’s affects on certain cultures and certainly as an African-American woman..I have experienced it on many levels and I have also witnessed other people experience it and in the digital world on social media etc.
What changes can we bring in the minds of the people regarding the sensitive issue of Racism?
As mentioned in my book, I believe we should seek to love all mankind regardless of the color of their skin. If we are to judge anyone…let it be by their heart/content of their character not the color of their skin. No human being should be viewed greater or less than due to the color of their skin. We are all valuable and we all have something to contribute to the world no matter our age, race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, education and the list goes on and on. That is what I want everyone to take away from one of the many messages presented in this book and again I certainly want to start with the minds of our children because that is where we began to become influenced as a child to grow into an adult who has a greater understanding of all that was experienced as a child. We can bring change in the mind by having a positive mindset about it all and again see everyone as a human being first and realize we all have more in common that not. We all need the basic necessities of love, food and shelter to survive and all men/women are created equal.
How is racism affecting women?
I see how racism often affects women in leadership roles as even with the recent presidential election for the Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris..I saw how she was often challenged as to whether or not she was fit for the position and a lot of it seemed to be directed towards her being a woman of color as opposed to her previous experience in politics and I see it all of the time in business how women are not paid equally and not treated fairly in the work place or when they seek opportunities and quite honestly I believe that racism and sexism often go hand it hand in terms of the affects it has on women. But again…it is important for all to know and again as I displayed in the book that we are all valuable regardless of our age, sex or race. This story again is told through the eyes of a young African-American girl and she is very strong as she recognizes at an early age that she has something to contribute to the world despite her color as she marches in a peaceful protest against racism and she also watches other women like her History teacher and she also sees her Mother vote for change in the 2020 election. It is important for women of all ages and ethnicities to have self-esteem and self respect and recognize their value early, so that even when racism faces them that they don’t have to allow it to affect them negatively but they can move forward in life despite it.
How does “I Don’t Like Racism” strive to unite us and love one another?
There are many examples in the book where the lead character DaNyla gives examples of despite the color of her skin that she loves everyone…and these are just two examples presented in the book that will show children and adults examples of loving each other and how to unite despite our differences externally.
Two excerpts in the book say…
1.”You can be my friend. You don’t have to look like me. We can still play together, like sisters and brothers in unity.”
2. ”I love everyone, no matter their race. We are all different but we can all still embrace. “
Is racism only skin-deep or a mind-set?
Racism is certainly a mindset. You choose to be racist. You choose to look at someone and judge them by what you see based on your own prejudice or perspective of them in your mind. A lot of prejudice stems from fear of the unknown and that is in your mind. The definition of Prejudice is: A preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. It is basically a story that you believe that is true in your mind about a person or a culture based on something you believe to be true by what you may have heard but really if you have never experienced a person individually then you can’t realistically say what this individual will be like or what the interaction will be based on their color or even their culture etc..until you have your own experience or interaction with them.
That’s basically with any human being. You don’t know them by 1st glance, you must get to know them to formulate an opinion of them or any type of assessment based on an actual experience. No two people are the same. It’s not fair to judge a race or culture in that way or wise. Further dialogue of racism is so necessary as so many people should be educated… especially our police.
Racism is a learned behavior…You can make up in your mind how you want to approach it or a person of a different race. I don’t believe you are born a racist and I don’t believe it is skin deep. It is certainly a mindset like anything else that someone makes up in their mind to do or not to do or be. We certainly have free will in life and it is so much easier to choose to Love over Hate….”I Don’t Like Racism.” It’s not just a book..
It’s a movement for positive change in the world.