Meet the Author: Jason Reynolds

[music] the following program is a production of
the Fairfax Network Fairfax County Public Schools. [music] Welcome to Meet the Author. I’m your host
Emily Godfrey. I am thrilled today to introduce our guest. New York Times
bestselling author Jason Reynolds.
>>Hurray! Thank you. Some of Jason’s award-winning book
titles are The Boy in the Black Suit, As Brave as You, All American Boys, Ghost, Patina and many more. Also joining our studio discussion are students from Fairfax County Public
Schools. Welcome everyone. So Jason I’m a librarian and as librarian I did some
research for this interview. And I found out that you were once a reluctant
reader. And that you used to give away or put aside your books to read later, any
gifts that you were given.>>For sure. Reluctant I think is a bit generous, actually. I think, I think for me I just wasn’t a reader. I don’t, there was no reluctance about it. It was, it was um. I was insistent about not
reading, right. And the reason why is because the books that I was given —
I was given Christmas, Christmas presents every year from my aunt who
would give me these books. As if that’s a good Christmas present. Really when
you’re like five and six and seven right. And I get it I know we’re supposed to be
promoting this. But when I was a kid I want toys, I want toys and toys right. But I had this aunt who’d give me these books. But they were only the classics and so like Treasure Island or
Little Women, or Moby Dick. And, and when you’re when you’re eight years old and
you’re growing up in a community where none of those things make any sense to
you, I, I wasn’t interested. I wasn’t interested. I wanted to read about like
the ice cream truck. But there were no books about the ice cream.
>>No, I think that’s a something a lot of kids feel. Like they want to see themselves in books.
That makes a lot of sense.
>>Yea. So I put them to the side and left them to the
side for a very very long time, a very long time.>>Well you mentioned something about
wanting to see yourself in books like your community. And I was just wondering
um. A lot of our students might not know that you grew up relatively nearby in
Washington DC. And how has that impacted your stories.
>>I mean growing up — it’s weird. I, I think for me more than anything
there’s texture to the neighborhoods that I grew up in, right. There’s texture.
There’s, there’s an energy. And there’s, There are cultural codes, right. You know
Mrs. Whitaker next door. And you know Mrs. Nowich the schoolteacher. And you
know that she doesn’t take no stuff from nobody on the block right. And you knew
Lennie up the up the street who suffered from schizophrenia. But he was a part of
our community, so we looked out for him, we loved him, even though he would talk
to himself and recite movie, movie scripts right. Every single part of the
movie just talking to himself. For us it was like that guy’s amazing because he’s
one of us, because he lives here ,so we protect him right. And I think that’s
what you’re seeing in a lot of these books. You’re seeing, you’re seeing the fiber, the fibers of the fabric, right. It’s not just, sort of like, here’s the community
clothed in this thing. It’s more like here’s a community clothed in this thing
and here are the fibers of that fabric that is clothing them. So that we can
better understand the beauty and the details of neighborhoods like mine. So
that I could see it right. And if I could see and if I wanted to see it than I
know other people wanted to see it too. And so that’s that’s really how it
affected me more than anything. I mean plus is a little edge there. You know and
anybody who’s read any of my books knows that these books are they’re not clean,
they’re not sanitized. It’s like no there’s gonna be a little edge, there’s
gonna be something that’s a bit jagged, right. Something that’s sort of a little,
a little left of center because that was my life and that’s my neighborhood and
those are the neighborhoods that I still love.>>And you can really see that in your
characters, they all fit together. In all the books you can see how tightly woven
they are and how they all have to be there and they all have a purpose in
their community.
>>Absolutely.>>So we are going to move to some of our students. They’d like to join our conversation as well. So let’s get started with Michael.
What is your question for Mr. Reynolds?>>Hi. So I finished reading Miles Morales
and I’m currently reading The Boy in the Black Suit. And I noticed in both of them
there are characters named Alicia. And I was wondering if that name is significant to
you. And in what way is it.>>Wow that’s super super pointing of you. Um. Nope. [laughter] That’s the thing, right. It’s like, it’s funny because I thought about that recently. I didn’t think about
that when I was writing Miles Morales though. It’s, there are names that have
stuck and if you are a child of the 80s, which you are not, but if,
>That’s very interesting for me to see that.>>I was wondering in When I Was the Greatest how you went about incorporating a realistic portrayal of tourettes syndrome in your character?
>>That’s a good question. So I’ve
had many jobs right. I’ve worked in sort of coffee shop and then bookstores and I
worked in schools and clothing stores. And one of those jobs was I was a
caseworker which is why Ali’s mother works in a clothing store and a
social worker. That’s the reason why because I, those were two jobs that I had.
In a midst of a ton of other gigs until I figured out how to do this right. And
while I was a caseworker I had 27 clients on my caseload dealing with all types of
mental differences. And it was a fascinating job because what the job
forced me to do was be around human beings that were not like me in terms of
the way that they viewed the world. We have to be very careful about the way we
talk about what we say mental illness is and and talk about it as a difference
because not everyone is mentally ill. It’s just the way that they view the
world is different from you right. And so I had clients, 27 clients ,ranging from
bipolar mania to schizophrenic to drug drug addicts and and former convicts and
I mean all kinds of people who have done some terrible things. But aren’t
necessarily are terrible people. And my job was to humanize those who the rest of
society has and will continue to vilify. And to make sure that I can help them do
everything they can to be productive members of society despite what they had
done or despite who they were. And I had kids who struggle with tourettes. And so
‘rettes is interesting right. So ‘rettes is interesting for a few reasons. One
because it it only effects, it doesn’t affect the way you think. It just affects
the impulse when it comes to speaking. But it, like the brain is working. It’s
functioning in terms of like thought process, critical thought, decision-making.
All that’s firing off just fine. It’s just about whether or not you can
control the impulse when it comes to the outburst and involuntary tics. And so
that’s where the whole thing comes from. The other thing about it is I wanted to
figure out a way to take Lenny in my neighborhood, the schizophrenic buddy
that I grew up with, and to show that in many neighborhoods around America we
have people with mental differences who, who are are still a part of the quilt
that is our community right. And that, and that, and that we can we can tease him.
You just better not tease him right. It’s like my neighborhood it was like we
would look at Lenny over there. We laugh and joke with Lenny and pick at him and
then a new person will move in and call the cops. And we would flip. Rright my
mother would run outside and it’d be a whole thing right. And so I wanted to
also show that one neighborhood can have several different kinds of people and
still be a united community, united neighborhood. That’s where he comes from, Needles. Shout out to Needles. I love Needles. [laughter] Thank you. So this has been a great discussion.
Chrissy I know you have a question.
>>What do you focus on when
you’re like doing character development and like fitting other characters to the
main character?
>>A good question. You know I, so I have this theory about teenagers
and the theory is that teenagers are, like we speak about young people and it’s really.
I mean I say we I mean adults. And in this really strange dismissive way right.
And we say we ask questions that I think are dismissive and are limiting and
are unfair a lot of times. One of the questions that I really can’t stand is,
what do you want to be when you grow up, right. I think it’s such a silly thing to
ask. I understand the root of that question but I think a better question
is what do you want to be like right now. Who do you want to be today right. And
better yet who are you today. Because who you are at 15, at 16, is whole right. It’s
a whole 16 year old right. It’s a whole 15 year old right. And I think we talk
about teenage life as if it’s like ,it’s like, oh you’re almost there, you’re not
quite whole yet but you will be when you’re 20. And when you get 20 and, you’re
like, oh you will be when you’re like 25. Oh wait till you get to 30 then you
really figure out how to be a whole person. When the truth is you’re whole in
every single part of the. every .every single step. And so my job is when I’m
writing these characters or when I’m adding the secondary and tertiary
characters to sort of figure out how to fortify the protagonist it’s all about
making sure that every single character is 100%. Every single character is a
whole person. Which means every single character has to have struggle and every
single character has to laugh righ.t Every character has to cry and he has to laugh, all of them. They all have to have trouble and they all have to have triumph,
I’ve never met a teenager who’s had a hard life, who, that was so hard that he
or she did not laugh, ever. I’ve never known a young person who didn’t find, who
didn’t find humor in hardship ever, right. And it’s so much to learn from that
and I think, sometimes, we’re like man it’s either young people, all they want
to do is laugh and not pay attention to anything important. Or young people, all
they are is doomed. And it’s a strange thing when when the reality is that almost
everybody I’ve ever met is somewhere in that sweet spot. Where it’s like man,
I’m not sure if, like I’ve got my issues and life is tough and there’s family
stuff in there. My mom’s yelling to me, like, yelling at me about social media and the
dangers of it. And school is hard. And I’m being bullied in school. And I got this
going on and that going on. And then that same kid is like but when I get around
my friends all we do is laugh and we joke and we read Harry Potter or we go
to the basketball court or we do each other’s hair or we tease our little
brothers and all this other. But that part of your life is just as important.
And I so I think about all of that for every single character that seems like
they don’t matter but the truth is that it’s in their wholeness that the
protagonist becomes more whole right. They are the ones feeding the
protagonist to make sure the protagonist is fortified and buttress to be an
actual person. Everybody around them matters, matters in order for that to be
the case. You don’t matter unless I, like think about who you are right. It’s just
funny, and I wrap it up in the project like what? There’s this funny thing about
Alfred Hitchcock, famous filmmaker right. If you guys don’t know who he is, tsk, tsk, tsk. Alfred Hitchcock, right, has this famous quote. He says the human face does not exist until I shine light on it right. A person
is not a person until I put light on that person right. Which means that no
matter how great you are until I understand all that is shining around
you right I won’t necessarily understand you. I have to know the rest of the things
happening satelliting around you, orbiting you to understand you. And that’s what I
try to do with the characters.
>>All right Trey I believe you have a question for
Mr. Reynolds. So in Ghost when Castle was walking. the
coach saw potential in him. Has anyone like an adult or a coach saw potential
in you? Did you, do you, can you relate to that?>>So I had this coach. So. and when I was. So first of
all the coach in Ghost which is Coach Malloy right. That was a basketball coach I
had whose name was, whose name was Coach Brody I mean in that book. And and the
basketball coach, name was Coach Brody, drove a cab, and he would drive us
around in his cab right. And we all felt special because we were in a cab. We were
kids in the back of a cab, like you know, this is what it’s like to be grown, right. He’d drive us around and so like that’s a real person who was there for
me. And also, and when I was the greatest, there’s Malloy, who’s the boxing, the
boxing coach up the street. He was a basketball coach in real life. And he had
this big, what we used to call a party van, a big old astro van which is the vans
back in the day from like the 70s with the TV in it and like is the whole thing. And
he would pick all the kids up in the neighborhood. And a lot of us didn’t have
fathers in the home and so he pick us up we get in his van. And in this van he
would let us say anything we wanted to say. So like we be cussing and
everything right. It’d be great right. We just kind of be on there talking crazy.
And in the van it was a safe space. It was a space for us to figure out who
we were and to express ourselves without any sort of, with any sort of like
parental, you know, down pressing. Nobody was there to say don’t, don’t say that or
don’t talk like that. In that van we could say anything and he would drive us
around. He would take us to the court. He would teach us all kinds of, he gave us all
kinds of terrible advice. But it, but it changed me and it helped me sort of you
know grow up and be a better person. So there were those two and there were a
lot of people. I had, things got funky at certain points in my life but there was
always somebody there just wanting and in all the books right. Mr. Ray in The Boy in
the Black Suit you know, is, is that same sort of character. I mean Teeth Man in
As Brave as You is that same kind of character you know. The father in Miles
Morales is that same kind of character and all of his friends is that same kind
of. I mean every book has that one guy who’s like I see what’s happening
and I got my hand on you. And I had those people in my life for sure.
community members that are there to reach out and be part of your extended family.
>>Definitely, definitely, yeah>>Andrew I think you had a question next?
>>How’d you come up with, with the idea for the Ghost series?>>So okay. So ahhhh all right. So here’s the truth. I was offered this, I was given an
opportunity to write a different series about a basketball team. And I was a
little put off by that because, umm because black kids do more than play basketball,
to be quite frank with you right. Black and brown kids do more
just play basketball. And it’s always this, like you should write about
basketball. And it’s like we have really good basketball books right. We have all
of Walter Dean Meyers’ books. We have Kwame Alexander’s books. We have Phil
Bildner’s books. We have tons of basketball books. I don’t want to write.
It’s the same reason Rashad doesn’t play basketball in All American Boys,
intentionally. We have enough of that. And so I wanted to figure out a way
to spin that and say, well what are some other sports that we could talk about
that I think I could unpack a little more and kind of dive into a little more.
And so I chose track because one because the first sport anyone plays is running.
We all race before we do anything else. Right? The first competition when it
comes to athleticism is who can run the fastest, all of us experience the same
thing, right. Who can run the fastest? The second thing about that is running, in
and of itself. Like think about it. All of you I’m sure have run, right. It’s a
terrible feeling. [laughter] It feels horrible right. Because what’s happening to your body
when you’re running is basically it’s fighting against suffocation, right. Your
body is trying not to suffocate. That’s what’s happening to you, right. That’s why,
that’s why most adults don’t run. ‘Cause we’re like, um I know better than that.
It feels like I’m dying and I don’t want to die right. And so, and so [laughter]
That’s what it is right. But but think about that
now in the framework of like what it means to be a teenager right. There are
so many teenagers who, who literally feel like they’ve grown comfortable with the
idea of suffocation. Every day in school, if you have a bully, or if, or if school
is complicated for you because you have a learning difference. So whatever it is,
it feels like suffocation. Every day you feel your lungs sort of like contracting
and everything in your body becoming tight. And in order for you to succeed
you’ve got to basically get over the discomfort and fight through the
discomfort in order for you to do anything in life. That’s literally what
your lives are right now. That’s what mine was when I was your age. Funny thing
is that’s what mine is now, still right. It never goes away it just becomes a new
kind of race you have to run right. Now I’ve got to figure out every time I put
one of these books out, the discomfort of knowing that one of you might dislike it.
What does that feel like? and I still got to push through and run that race regardless. Because I know what it feels like to get, get on the other side of that
finish line right. Or when I’m writing these books, I never know what’s gonna
happen. It feels like I’m drowning. It feels like I’m out of breath all the
time. My body is breaking down right. My metaphorical body is breaking down. And
I’m not sure I have the stamina to complete another book. And then I do. And
it feels so glorious to get to the finish line. This is life. And so I
figured if I could talk about track I could I could really talk about a lot of
things I would love to discuss more. It’s a little harder to discuss when
you’re dealing with a sport like basketball. The other thing about track to
just round off your question is it’s the it’s one of the only sports where you’re
only competing with yourself. The people who are running next to you are only
running next to you as inspiration and because we don’t want to see 50
individual races. But the truth is when you look at the track meet, the coach has
a stopwatch not to time everybody else just to time you. You’re running against
your best time. You’re running against you. You’re your only competition right.
That’s the beauty of this particular sport. And what I could say in terms of a
statement right using this sport as a framework, to talk about young life.
>>In the book Ghost, he, it was really interesting to hear what you had to say
because it felt like he felt suffocated in all of the other areas of his life as
well. Is that a theme that you think you’ll continue with through this series
as you explore other?
>>It changes, it changes, right. So the, running is a
such a broad term. What does it mean to run from something? What does it mean to
run towards something? What does it mean to run something? Which is what you see
in Patina right. Patina runs the family right. She feels, she feels a necessity to
be responsible right, to run the lives, to run the entire family. She feels that
weight. And so you’ll see all these different iterations of what it means to
run in every single book.
>>Tori I think you had the next question.
>>Hi. So my question was what inspired you to write the book All American Boys?
>>You know Tori, I, that book is a. Look, look the obvious anwere is these things are happening right. And you all know this. Your generation is fully aware about what’s going on in our
country, on all the different fronts, right. You have social media or something
that we didn’t growing up. And so because of that you
all are more astute politically and newswise than we ever were.
My mama be like, you should watch the news. And I’ll, I’m like nobody watching no
news. Like it’s so boring, there that was me. You all are get into news and in like
these like tidbits and bytes and, and Snapchats and Instagrams all this sort
of really consumable and accessible and sometimes dangerous but sometimes not
right. Way. And because of that I think that Brendan and I felt obligated to make
sure that when it comes to the issue of police brutality and the issue when it
comes to prejudice in general, whether it be about brutality or racism or systemic
racism or religious, you know, being intolerant about religion, all the things
that we’re dealing with right, that we all know we’re dealing with. We felt like
the the one demographic left out of the discussion was young people. It’s all
these old people talking about it right. Every time I turn the news on it’s two old,
usually old men sitting at a desk screaming at each other about who’s
right and wrong. And no one is saying I wonder what the teenagers are thinking?
Wonder what they’re, I wonder how they feel about it. Have we asked them lately
right? Have we have we asked them if they’re afraid or if they’re hopeful or
if they have answers or if they have ideas? Have we tapped that world yet? Or
do we, or once again, do we continue to dismiss you all and wait for you to
become something in 10 years from now. Instead of saying, let’s, let’s see what
they think. Maybe they know about what’s happening and maybe they have at least
an expression toward how they feel about it. Even if they don’t have answers. We
should at least hear maybe how they feel because it’s affecting their lives. Some
of these people who are dealing with these things are your age right. When
it, when it happened to me when I had my own run-in, I was 15 the first time
right. I watched my 18 year old buddy deal with it. I mean, did we, I’ve been
through these things right. I’ve seen these things. And as an adult and as someone
who loves you it seemed like just a responsibility to at least try to put
together a narrative to not give any answers but to ask more questions so.
>>Thank you and I just wanted to let you know we have three more students who have questions. So Michelle I believe your question is next.>>Um. Castle struggles often with other people’s perception of him. Do you have any advice
for teens or other people who also have like worried about what people think of them?
>>Of course, of course. First of all, it’s human. So be forgiving of yourself right. It’s human
right. Listen I wish I could tell you at 34 years old that I didn’t care what
other people thought about me. But I read every book review, scared to
death. It matters right. I understand it, so I understand it. On the flip side, what I will say, what I
always tell young people, is um for the rest of your life people are gonna tell
you to be somebody else. You should just know that going, going as you continue to
grow just know that this doesn’t ,it doesn’t stop right, like. And it’s okay. It
doesn’t stopped. They’re, they’re they’re gonna say that you’re not the
right color. Or you, you don’t come from the
right family even if you come from a great family. All right. That you don’t have
the right hair or the right weight. You’re not the right size. You got the
wrong shoes on. You speak the wrong language. You speak the wrong kind of
English. You come from the wrong neighborhood. You come from the wrong
city. You come from the wrong country. It’s always going to be something right.
No matter who you are people are gonna tell you that you’re supposed to be or
you’re better off as someone else. And so I always tell people that though I love
that there are so many young people who love the narratives that I write and
love my stories it’s more important that you all figure out now how to love your
own, right. Now make that decision now. It doesn’t mean that it’s, that it’s gonna
get any easier but you’ve got to be okay right. Even though in the moments that
like, like for instant, meditation is yoga and meditations are now like the biggest
things happening in America for adults right. It’s like Lord everybody is like
in a yoga studio stretching right. Many interesting thing about those sort of
practices is they tell you that like you’re supposed to clear your head right.
But that, but that you’re not supposed to like, don’t be. But to be okay with the
fact that you’re gonna think about things. And when you think about them,
think about them and then let them go right. And so the same thing applies to
your lives when it comes to you accepting your story and it’s like
accepting who you are and its totality, knowing for a fact that there’s gonna be
outside forces that say you should be more than that. And in those moments, you, you can have your moments to be upset about those things, and then let it go.
And go back to loving you and loving your story. If I knew that
when I was your age it wouldn’t have taken me so long to be okay with myself.
>>Thank you um Emma I believe you have a question.>>What motivated you to become a
writer and an author?
>>You know. I. I didn’t necessarily want to do this. I didn’t
know, I didn’t grow up reading any books. I didn’t read any books until I was
almost 18 years old. It was for me, rap music was everything right. Rap music
saved my life. And I like to make sure I always make sure people know that
because I’m not ashamed of that. And I think you know rap music has all kinds,
people have all kinds of opinions about it. And all those opinions are valid. But
for me and for the majority of my generation, especially if you were coming
from marginalized communities and communities of color, rap music was like
literally salvation for us. Because the books that you all are reading now, the
books that, this, this expansive sort of library you have with all these books,
with all these topics, and all this diversity, and all this stuff, that wasn’t
the case. Right so when I was a kid we were reading like anything written from
the 50s, 60s ,and 70s. But I grew up in the 80s. I grew up with like the three major,
the three major sort of benchmarks of my time, specifically in my community was like crack cocaine, HIV and rap music. And
there were no books about any of those issues. Zero right. You guys get to read
you. Today right. That wasn’t the case for me. And so I grew up wanting to be when
it, I studied rap lyrics. I studied Queen Latifah and I studied Tupac lyrics. And I, I read the liner notes and was seeing what they were doing with
language. And from there sort of put together this idea that maybe these
rappers are doing the same thing as the poets. They’re teaching me in school. Even
though no teacher ever told me that. So maybe I can just do this. And so that’s
what I did. I wrote poems, forever, I wanted to be the next Langston Hughes.
And it wasn’t until I was 26, 27, that I felt like I had permission to tell my stories
because a buddy of mine said you know you could just put your own language on
the page. You could put it on the page the way you speak it right. You guys are
talking to me now. The books will sound, now the books will sound much more
familiar now that you’ve spoken to me. Because it’s just me. It’s the same voice,
literally, my voice on the page. And once I got that permission, I started to
tell my own, these are all my stories. Ghost is a true story about one of my
best friends. That happened to him right. Or like, these are all like, out, When I
Was the Greatest is about my older brother, Alan. Right. but Brave As You is about me and my older brother, Jason Eugene Reynolds
and Allen Ernest Reynolds. Genie and Ernie hanging out with their blind
grandfather. This is all true. These are all my personal stories. Once I felt
permission to do that I was like maybe I can do this right. I’m not Tony
Morrison or James Baldwin. And I always felt like I had to be because that’s
what was taught to me in school. But once I let that go and said but I am me and
that’s gotta mean something. And once I figured out what that meant and put that
authenticity on the page, life changed forever. And then I realized I could give
to you all what I did not have. And that sort of fueled the fire.
>>And our final question.
>>Umm my question was what would be your advice for
someone who’s going to college or you know going on into the real world?
>>Yeah. My advice for anyone who’s going to college or going on into the real world,
two things . Number one, process before progress. This is a mantra I live by,
process before progress. Which just means there are no shortcuts. There are steps
to everything. And so your generation is probably the most brilliant generation
to ever live. Unfortunately you all don’t know that, which is the problem. Second of
all the other issue, and I say this lovingly, the other issue is if the
spectrum, if the spectrum from beginning to end is from one to ten when it comes
to like getting to the level you want to be at right, you all basically come in at
five right. Because of the convenience of information, you come in at five, get to
ten. But it skip steps one through four and usually have to backtrack. Can’t hold
on to what’s at ten right. And so what I would just suggest is don’t be afraid of
stepping one through four right. Even though you know you can come in at five,
please believe it will not serve you, it will not serve. There is no skipping
steps, And number two excellence is a habit, a habit. You can’t choose to turn
it on and turn it off. Either you are going to be excellent or you are not. And
you have to think about it that way. Everything in your life, everything you
decide to do has to be your personal excellence. It doesn’t mean that it has
to be perfect. It means it has to be your personal best at all time because it
needs to become a habit for you to do everything to the
best of your ability. If you do that success is inevitable right.
Happiness is inevitable. This idea that like all I know is to give all I have to
the things that I choose to love. How can you lose right, how can you lose? and
instead of, instead of arguing or being afraid of that which is hard, because that’s
what happened let me ___ Mr. Jason, but it’s just so hard.
Easy and hard is irrelevant, irrelevant. That’s an irrelevant conversation. The
only thing that matters is are you going to do it or are you not. And if you’re
not stop, talking about it right. That’s it. Whether it’s easy or
hard doesn’t matter. Everything’s hard. Get over it. All that
matters is are you down to do it or are you not. If you keep that in mind, you’ll be alright.
>>Jason we’re almost out of time. But before we go, I was wondering if you have
any last bit of advice about writing or life for these students?
>>Yeah I mean at the end of the day I think umm. Look my job is to tell you all to read and write. So read and write you know. But, but, but furthermore I want you to, it, within
reading and writing, it isn’t just about reading and writing. It’s about engaging
with humanity. It’s about perpetuating empathy right. I des, I and when I say I am
speaking of the collective we right. And by that I mean all, everybody on earth,
needs your generation to be more empathetic than mine. We need you all to
be more open, more compassionate than my generation and the generations before me. It is a necessity right now in our world. And though, and one of the best ways to
do that, because not everybody has the resource to travel the world or to you
know meet people in Turkey or meet people in Pakistan right. One of the best
ways to do that is to read. It breaks down barriers in a very real way. It
takes you places that you might not be able to get to. But it helps to humanize
the people that we fear so, so terribly, It humanizes people. And so I beg you all to
keep reading and writing for that reason, for that reason alone. Other than that
all I’ve got to say is I love you. And I always tell y’all that. I tell
young people all the time I love you because you need to hear it from
somebody that doesn’t know you. Because I ain’t got to know you to care for you.
And you all dont have to know people to love them. Remember that as well.
>>Well thank you so much. It’s been a real pleasure getting to be with you and hear
your questions guys. It’s been wonderful>For more information about Jason Reynolds and his books visit his website.
For more information about the Fairfax Network and our upcoming programs visit
our website. For the Fairfax Network I’m Emily Godfrey.
Keep reading, keep writing and keep dreaming. [music]

5 thoughts on “Meet the Author: Jason Reynolds

  1. He's talking the same language as James Joyce in Dubliners and other works. Write what you know. Write what you feel. Different…but the same. The small world that echoes the big one.

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