Minnesota activist turned author releases new book during Black History Month

A prominent fixture on the front lines of the social justice movement, local attorney and activist, Nekima Levy Armstrong is now an author.  She’s written her first children’s book. Scheduled for release during Black History Month, the book is titled, "J is for Justice."

FOX 9's Good Day crew spoke with Levy Armstrong Thursday, a week after reading her new book to a class of young students at Jossie Johnson Monstessori in north Minneapolis.

"I decided to write a children’s book based on my experience out on the front lines, fighting for justice here in Minneapolis and being able to bring along my daughter," said Levy Armstrong. 

At the forefront of peaceful protests following the murder of George Floyd, Levy Armstrong’s young daughter was there too.

"Well I think that it’s never too early for parents to teach their children about racial justice and the importance of using their voices to stand up and advocate for the change that they want to see," said Levy Armstrong.

Through words and illustrations, the book depicts a cycle of struggle and strength.

"We have had children who have died at the hands of police violence. Children who have been impacted by racism and discrimination and so they need to understand that they are part of the unfolding story of American history," said Levy Armstrong. 

Personally, she is starting a new chapter. Last fall she underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor.

"To get to this place after such a traumatic event, not knowing if I would make it into 2023 and then having my book to look forward to, knowing that it would present me with the opportunity to come into schools and classrooms and talk to kids, it gave me a surge of energy and joy and hope," said Levy Armstrong.

From the streets to the halls of Josie Johnson Montessori, Levy Armstrong now looks to the future.

"I want to make sure to reach back to the next generation and make sure that we’re lifting them up, giving them opportunity, encouraging them and affirming them, because that’s what they deserve," said Levy Armstrong.

Levy Armstrong describes her book as an "anti-racism book" for kids, and she hopes that it serves as a conversation starter.