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Just Not Me

Dr. Frederick B. Covington, illustrated by Richa Kinra
Outskirts Press
25 pages
Reviewed by Cohen Williams

TAGS: Frederick B. Covington, Richa Kinra, Outskirts Press, African American stereotypes in media

Just Not Me is a story about how African Americans should not be judged because of what people see on television. This goes especially for African American boys, because the negative television images are not correct in how every African American person is in real life.  Just because some people dress in a certain way, that does not mean they act a certain way.  For example, on page 11, the book reads:

“Angry, bitter, and just so mad.  Screaming and yelling, is just so bad.  No one knows why you are so mad.  I’d hate to be like that, and never glad.”

Based on that example, it seems as if the creator of the program in the book does not care what African Americans have done in the present, just what bad things they have done in the past. Just Not Me encourages people to judge others by who they are as individuals, and not base their opinions only on television shows.  

This reviewer liked Just Not Me because it tells of some African Americans who have made a difference in Black history, and did not make it seem like all African Americans do nothing but eat, be lazy, do bad things all day, and not care about what they do.  It showed positive Black male images and examples of great men for African American boys to aspire. It is a recommended read for younger children.

Cohen Williams is a 12-year-old sixth grader who enjoys playing video games and football, and he is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.  He attends a visual and performing arts middle school in Maryland, where he plays the trombone in the band.  He wants to be a video game designer and graphic artist when he grows up.

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