Kekla Magoon, faculty member and 2005 graduate of the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults program, was featured in a February 22 article in The Bridge, Montpelier’s local weekly newspaper. Magoon discussed her personal activism through the power of writing, her belief in children’s capacity to handle life’s hardest realities, and her long list of books and awards, including her most recent publication, Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People.
In the interview with The Bridge’s Tom McKone, Magoon is honest and unflinching: “I understand why parents want to protect their children, but I don’t understand why books are so scary to people. Why ideas are so scary to people. Certainly, books and ideas can be transformative, but there’s good in that. There’s power in that. And you know, I think we want our kids to know as much about the world as possible. It’s hard for me to understand wanting your child to know as little about the world as possible. That doesn’t make sense in my mind. I don’t think it keeps them safe.”
Magoon encourages each of us to find our own way to effect change and fight for social justice, reminding us that marching in protests and running for office aren’t the only paths. “There are lots of different ways to be someone who tries to make a difference in the world,” she notes. “As individuals, we underestimate our ability to do a lot of things because we think, ‘I can’t complete that,’ or ‘I can’t complete that huge task,’” she said. “You do a little bit. You show up the next day. You do a little bit. … Everything is incremental. … It does add up, and to me that’s really important. … You just gotta keep plugging away and not give up.”
(Image courtesy of Kekla Magoon)