The Talk is a masterfully crafted graphic memoir that follows the throughline of the titular talk: the conversation that parents have with their Black children about how the world—and particularly the police—view them differently. Darrin Bell’s mother gave him the talk when he was six. He asked her why his water gun was bright green, rather than a realistic black like everyone else’s, and she explained that she feared for his safety. Later, a police officer would see him refilling the water gun in a puddle and tell him to drop the weapon.
Now, 42 years after that conversation with his mother, Bell—who in 2019 became the first Black cartoonist to win a Pulitzer Prize—is a father of four. In his moving book, he grapples with whether and when to have the talk with his son Zazu. It was in 2020, when Zazu was 6 years old, that the boy asked, “Who’s George Floyd?” And Bell realized that the right time to have the talk is whenever your child asks. —Laura Zornosa
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