Monday, June 17, 2024

Black Mom’s Book Warns Children About Police Brutality

Sonya Gragg - cover to Momma Did You Hear the News
Sonya Gragg & her book: ‘Momma Did You Hear the News?’

*It is known as “The Talk,” a conversation nearly all African-American parents have with their children; more specifically their sons. Sanya Whittaker Gragg has written a book to help facilitate that very important conversation.

Momma, Did You Hear the News? is centered around 10-year old Avery who is disturbed by yet another unarmed black man being shot. This prompts his parents to sit down with him and his brother to talk about what to do if approached by police officers. Their Dad references a catchy chant taught to him by his mother to help remember the five things to do to “come home ALIVE”. A to the L to the I-V-E! Come home ALIVE… That is the key!

Gragg says her past experience working with kids taught her that when you add music or song and dance to a lesson, young people are more likely to engage; and more importantly, they are more likely to remember. Each letter corresponds with a reminder. For example, “V” is for VISIBLE hands always and “E” is for EXPLAIN any movement. The book encourages readers to “Memorize the 5” and mirrors what Gragg and her husband repeatedly preached to their own sons.

Gragg knows this book will not guarantee the end of unarmed black male fatalities. “Our community will continue working to educate our kids on ‘The Talk’,” Gragg states, “but we need law enforcement to continue working to educate and train officers too.” The book further stresses that “all policemen are not bad”, and we should “pray for those in blue”. She adds her book is not anti-police, but it is anti-police brutality. Her self-published book can be purchased now on

Wife, mom, social worker, and now author, Sanya has always had a passion for working with and inspiring kids. She holds degrees from the University of Memphis (B.A. Marketing), Georgia State University (M.S. Sports Administration) and the University of Southern California (M.S.W.) and has always enjoyed writing. She is committed to using her talents to make a difference in the lives of others. Learn more at her official web site at

Follow her on social media:

Facebook – @memorizethe5
Instagram – @memorizethe5





Sanya Whittaker
[email protected]


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