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First Name Basis Podcast

Jan 18, 2022

In the summer of 2020, author Veronica Chambers had what she calls an “aha moment.”


Born in Panama and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Veronica’s Afro-Latina heritage has always been very important to her, and she worked hard to make sure her then-12-year-old daughter felt the power of her “Black girl magic.”


But when protests were happening across the country and in their own city, Veronica realized she needed to be able to teach her daughter more about race, systemic racism and the role of protests.


Veronica’s recently published book, “Call and Response: The Story of Black Lives Matter,” was born out of this desire to teach her own daughter. 


“Call and Response” is just one of many projects Veronica has produced during her prolific writing career. She is the editor of Narrative Projects for The New York Times, a public speaker, and author and editor of more than a dozen books — which span a spectrum in subject from several about food to books for kids to helping influential people with their memoirs and more.


Veronica was gracious enough to join me for an interview for this week’s podcast — Season 5 Episode 4: “Blake Lives Matter: How Will You Respond?” In this interview, Veronica shares:


  • Thoughts on how to talk to kids — all kids, not just Black children — about police
  • What protesting looks like for different people and finding what it looks like for you and your family.
  • Insights on how to avoid burnout.
  • Using your skills and what you love to do to make a difference.


It was truly an honor to read “Call and Response:The Story of Black Lives Matter” and to have Veronica share her time and thoughts with me. I sure learned a lot and know you will too!


Bite-sized Black History 

Bite-sized Black History is a program that empowers you to teach the little ones you love about brilliant Black Americans who have been largely overlooked by our history books. We featured 12 different people in Season 1 of the program and will feature 12 all new Black Americans in Season 2. And, if you missed Season 1, both seasons will be available for purchase.

Click here to be the first to receive the coupon code on Feb 1st when the program launches!

Articles, Studies, & Podcasts Referenced in the Episode


Books edited or written by Veronica Chambers


New York Times Learning Network “Lesson of the Day: ‘Black Surfers Reclaim Their Place on the Waves’”


For info about Bakers Against Racism, read this newsletter by Veronica Chambers


“13th” documentary available on Netflix


Veronica Chambers’ Instagram @vvchambers


Visit Veronica’s website for additional information, including booking her for speaking events.


The End of Policing” by Alex S. Vitale


Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson 


Song Credit: “Sleeper” by Steve Adams” and “Dive Down” by VYEN