CLEVELAND (WJW) — Malik Jackson, the Cleveland Browns’ newest defensive tackle, says books are where you find answers.
That’s why Jackson is donating 250 copies of the Juneteenth-themed picture book “All Different Now: Juneteenth the First Day of Freedom,” by Angela Johnson and E.B. Lewis, to Cleveland schools and organizations.
Jackson says he wasn’t taught about Juneteenth in school and had to educate himself over the last few years.
“I think it’s important to teach ourselves and I truly believe that once you know, you can’t say you’re naive anymore. You’re making a choice to not be conscious and act on what you know,” said Jackson.
“All Different Now” tells the story of the first Juneteenth through the eyes of one little girl. On June 19, 1865, an estimated 250,000 slaves in Galveston, Texas were informed of their freedom. It was more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.
A portion of the book describes how those slaves “worked, and worked, and worked some more, under the hot Texas sun.” Jackson says the book has an appropriate message for children that still allows parents to discuss in history in more detail.
He says it’s something he plans to share with his own daughter, Nahla.
“Worked, and worked, and worked. You know, a kid can get that, but they don’t get the true nature of what it really meant and it allows me to say, ‘Nahla, worked and worked meant these people worked day and night for no pay, barely anything’…give her the breakdown of what it really happened,” Jackson said.
The book copies were distributed to students at George Washington Carver in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.