1st Edition

Black Children of Incarcerated Parents Speak Truth to Power Social Revolution

    240 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    240 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book centers directly impacted Black children who have lived through parental incarceration. Their stories are told from holistic perspectives incorporating the full range of collateral consequences. Shifting from the Eurocentric and capitalistic viewpoint, they move us beyond negative outcomes to a positive prism by providing insider perspective, strategy, advice, and compelling experiences. We center Black children of incarcerated parents’ (BCOIP’s) rich narratives to show how they are conscious thinkers with perspectives that can help reimagine all Black children’s lives and futures.

    These stories help readers better understand the importance of exploring the revolutionary ways BCOIP continue to survive, thrive, and transform amid the dynamic challenges surrounding mass incarceration. The book shifts the social dialogue from fear of intergenerational crime and incarceration to resilience, success, Black joy, and self-love, and moves from sympathetic into an empathetic agenda. The book brings to the forefront counter-storytelling through oral narratives that fill a gap in literature that leaves out the voices of children of incarcerated parents who are doctors, lawyers, professional athletes, musicians, community leaders, activists, professors, teachers, bestselling authors, and much more. These are vital experiences to share because not all BCOIP will end up in prison, jail, or a detention center.

    Black Children of Incarcerated Parents Speak Truth to Power will be of great interest to scholars from the humanistic social sciences and humanities. It is also a timely resource for students (high school, undergraduate, and graduate) in sociology, criminology, corrections, humanities, social work, counseling, education, social justice, and related courses, as well as agency administrators, community organizations servicing families of the incarcerated, specifically incarcerated parents and the children of incarcerated parents, themselves.


    Bahiyyah Miallah Muhammad, Britany Jenine Gatewood, and Sydni Myat Turner

    Part 1: Truth and Reconciliation: Confidence in My Black Skin

    Bahiyyah Miallah Muhammad

    Chapter 1: What’s In a Name?             

    Calvin Bell III   

    Chapter 2: Unlearn to Relearn            


    Chapter 3: Am I My Mother’s Keeper?           

    Tonisha Taylor

    Chapter 4: Roots, Residue, and Results          

    Quatina Frazer

    Chapter 5: Dad’s “in” Dad’s “out” Part I:  The Ebb and Flow of Childhood with an Incarcerated Parent     

    Nicole Dezrea Jenkins

    Chapter 6: Dad’s “in” Dad’s “out” Part II:  Truth and Trajectory from an Academic and Military Veteran  

    Nicole Dezrea Jenkins

    Chapter 7: Ciera’s New Story

    Ciera Payton

    Part 2: Reclaiming Black Wellness: Every Revolution Has to Begin Somewhere

    Sydni Myat Turner

    Chapter 8: Lock and Key: A Story About My Dad and Me

    Tru Moore

    Chapter 9: A Journey through Abandonment and Abuse to Acceptance

    Alicia Jefferson

    Chapter 10: My Healing Journey

    Charnal Chaney

    Chapter 11: The Journey of a Butterfly

    Faith Cole

    Chapter 12: Loving Me, Unapologetically

    Quaniece Raquelle Jones

    Part 3: The Renaissance of Self-Expression: Creativity, Innovation, and Culture

    Bahiyyah Miallah Muhammad

    Chapter 13: The Masquerade Ball

    Donald Stevenson

    Chapter 14: The Seed of Hope: “Maybe You’ll Go Away for College”

    Lolu Drummond

    Chapter 15: In Memory of You, Dad

    Shannell Kitt

    Chapter 16: Now You See Him, Now You Don’t

    Justice Howard

    Chapter 17: Falling on Deaf Ears

    Gabrielle Dunn

    Chapter 18: Helping Flowers Grow: Sunlight, Water and Love

    Jian Alaa Muhammad and Jaelah Millah Muhammad

    Chapter 19: Emotions

    William Myhre

    Chapter 20: Crisis to Creativity

    Akiya McKnight

    Part 4: Parenting Behind and Beyond the Walls: The Revolutionizing Relationships of BCOIP

    Sydni Myat Turner

    Chapter 21: Behind the Wall

    Dawan Alford

    Chapter 22: 73 Days

    Erika Hardinson

    Chapter 23: Moms

    Dawan Alford

    Chapter 24: Apple Don’t Fall Far

    Shatarra King

    Chapter 25: Obstacles on Both Sides of the Gate

    Kiara W. S. Bynum

    Chapter 26: Parenting Your Parent

    Jasmine Johnson

    Chapter 27: Letter to My Father

    Tashawn Reagon

    Part 5: The Student and the Teacher: Education Beyond Books

    Britany Jenine Gatewood

    Chapter 28: What is a bad guy?

    Jay Baron

    Chapter 29: Intergenerational Achievement: Class of 2025

    Whitney Hollins and Arieanna Hollins

    Part 6: The Revolution Begins Now: A National Call to Action

    Britany Jenine Gatewood

    Chapter 30: The Internal Revolution

    Anyé Young

    Chapter 31: This is Your Permission to be Free

    Tonisha Taylor

    Chapter 32: Ask the Question: Say Something

    Kiara Bynum

    Chapter 33: Why My Mom?

    Quniana Futrell

    Chapter 34: Youth of Incarcerated Parents United

    Kleo Torres

    Chapter 35: Building the Future Us: Youth Ambassadors on A Mission

    Jaelah Millah Muhammad and Jian Alaa Muhammad

    Chapter 36: A Woman on the Outside

    Kristal Bush

    Chapter 37: The Invisible Part: See Me, Hear Me

    Shameka Green


    Bahiyyah Miallah Muhammad, Britany Jenine Gatewood, and Sydni Myat Turner


    Tony Lewis Jr.


    Britany Jenine Gatewood, Ph.D., is the Senior Research Coordinator for Beloved Community and the founder of the Liberation and Justice Project Foundation, Inc. Her research focuses on the political practice of incarcerated Black women and their children. She obtained her Ph.D. from Howard University, along with a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies.

    Bahiyyah Miallah Muhammad, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Criminology at Howard University. She is the founder of The Dr. Muhammad Experience Inc., and co-founder of Project Iron Kids for children of incarcerated parents. Professor Muhammad is the author of numerous children’s books, book chapters, and articles about children and families impacted by incarceration.

    Sydni Myat Turner, M.A., is a social justice advocate, reentry mentor, and program facilitator. In 2021, she earned an M.A. in Sociology from Howard University. She serves as a board chair member and co-facilitator at It Takes A Village Collaborative (ITAVCollab), a non-profit organization providing Black individuals, families, and communities with resources, services, and networks to holistically heal their mind, body, and spirit.