As a single dad, I was something of a griot for my children, Bernadette, Mark and Natsumi. I told them stories that had been passed down by family members to me. I also told stories to teach lessons and share the family’s sense of morality in a fascinating and entertaining way.
I consider myself more a witness to discrimination than a victim of discrimination. I’m convinced that discrimination is a learned behavior, or inclination, and we learn it as children — from our parents, or other significant adults.
Mommy! There’s a Little Boy Under My Bed! is the story of a little monster who is terrified that there is a little boy under his bed. Why? Because little boys are described in different terms as little monsters are (though they are much the same), and differences can be sources of fear and prejudice.
Markey, the little monster, confesses his fears to his mother, who unwittingly, affirms those fears while encouraging him to discount reality — Little boys aren’t real! Ultimately, Markey meets the little boy under his bed and discovers they have more in common than at odds.
In the end, the little monster and little boy realize that even parents are sometimes afraid of things that are different. Translation: little monsters and little boy should make up their own minds about persons who are “different.”