“I’m overwhelmed by the capacity of care our Richmond community has about the topic of (racism) and it has empowered me and given me hope to publish this book.”
Arriving in Canada as a refugee was not easy for Hieu Pham-Fraser, a Richmond resident and educator, but she hopes to share and convey how implicit racism could affect young children as well as adults through her upcoming children’s picture book.
Pham-Fraser’s The Little Girl follows the life of a refugee girl arriving in Canada and integrating into the school system in the 1980s.
Despite many people’s best intentions, the girl feels pressured and “small” from the implicit racism around her.
There are many people, according to Pham-Fraser, that don’t see the pressure and the “smallness” that implicit racism does to others.
“We always say ‘there’s no racism here’ or ‘we’re not racist’ … but in actual fact, we have to question if we really reflect on the way we do things and what we say towards other people,” said Fraser.
“I question if we really see and understand others as a whole, because if we don’t, then we are at the risk of behaving in a way that makes them feel small or ‘unseen.’”
Fraser told the Richmond News the story has been a hidden piece for a while until recent coverage of the ongoing deaths and protests around the Black Lives Matter Movement.
“I feel that at this time, people have the language and the awareness to tackle such a serious topic for our communities and societies,” said Fraser, adding that her contribution can add to the change.
The book, she added, is aimed at children and adults, prompting them to reflect on the topic of racism and to “give us the courage to talk about it with each other.”
While her Kickstarter campaign surpassed its goal within a couple weeks, Fraser and her team are still searching for an artist and illustrator for the book.
She said she wants to find someone who shares the “same principles towards social justice, may have the same lived experience of racism and implicit racism” and also a member of the Black, Indigenous and persons of colour (BIPoC) community.
“The whole process up until now has been the most exciting and rewarding experience I’ve encountered and to be able to connect with people and see the support is just encouraging.”
Fraser’s book is expected to publish in mid-December and can be found at bit.ly/3crwSMT