As many deal with intense emotions during civil unrest and a pandemic, a Long Beach family therapist was looking for a way to connect with kids who might be cooped up at home and seeing disturbing images on television, so he started reading bedtime stories online featuring children of color.
Every Wednesday night at 7 p.m., children are tuning in to a new online series called “Night Night” where African American men read bedtime stories featuring children of color.
The series is the brain child of Long Beach family therapist Brad Scott.
While brad reads, his dad plays relaxing jazz guitar in the background so kids can settle in for story time.
Scott says as a kid, he fell in love with books after attending readings at the Long Beach public library.
"How important it was for me to have Black men read to me, even though there was only a few times that Black men showed up to read, it was just important to see them be silly and engage with us ask kids," he said.
"It’s very relaxing and helps you go to sleep faster," said 6-year-old Kori Thompson from Altadena.
She tunes in with her cousin Syndey Terry.
Scott enlisted his friends to help with the readings, hoping to give children more positive Black male role models to look up to.
“I really want kids to see powerful Black men reading these children’s books. We’re in the community, and we’re also here for them," he said.
Stories about Black children read by Black men is a hit with moms like Kyva Bryant.
“Especially given the current climate, and the negativity that Black men have received for many years," she said.
Little Kori says she learned something new by tuning in to the “Night Night” series.
"Black people could also be in books! Everybody can be in every kind of book no matter if they look like you or if they don’t look like you!” she said.
If you’d like to sign up for Wednesday evening bedtime stories, go here.