Jacqueline Woodson – “Red at the Bone” and Creating Empathy via Complex Stories | The Daily Show

Jacqueline Woodson – “Red at the Bone” and Creating Empathy via Complex Stories | The Daily Show


Welcome… to The Daily Show. -Thank you for having me.
-And can I just say, as someone who grew up
living in books, I… Like, nothing gives me more joy than seeing writers treated
like rock stars. Genuinely. I love it.
Like-like… -(applause and cheering)
-People love what you do. People really love
what you create. This book is just being met
with so much praise and so many accolades. Red at the Bone. -It’s a story of two families…
-Mm-mm. …who are brought together
because of a pregnancy. -But it’s also the story
of class and of race. -Yes. And when you are compiling
a story like this, and you’re… and you’re
telling this… this tale, is it hard for you to combine
all of those elements, or do you just tell the truth,
and it-it comes through? I think it’s a combination. It’s hard, and I tell the truth,
and it comes through. And I think,
one thing that happens is, the story begins to evolve. The more I put those characters
on the page, the more I figure out
about them, the more complex
the story becomes, and that became
a very complicated story. It also feels like,
when you tell the story, you rely on the reader to do
work for themselves, you know? So for instance, if you’re…
if you’re reading this book, -it-it starts in a familiar
place, you know? -Yeah. It’s-it’s human beings. I mean,
that’s what most stories are. -Yeah. -It’s human beings,
it’s love, it’s family, and then, there’s the conflict,
you know? There’s-there’s this pregnancy,
but what’s interesting is, not a lot of people
would-would think of a world where there’s a black family -that doesn’t like
another black family… -Mm-hmm. …and they’re separated
by class. Yeah, and it happens. I think, um, one thing
that I was trying to talk about
in Red at the Bone is, um… is black wealth,
versus black income, and mainly how this country has again and again
annihilated black wealth. -And so, when someone is able…
-(thudding) -Oh, shucks.
-Is that your ph…? -Yes. -Oh, it’s your…
No-no worries. -Okay. -We can still hear you.
That’s fine. When someone’s able to, um, hold on to their wealth,
what does that look like? And when someone is not,
what does that look like? And so, it made sense to have
these two families come together to create that conflict. Right. You-you talk
about black wealth, -or your tell the story
in and around it. -Mm-hmm. But what are you hoping the
reader will take away from that? You know, like,
what are you hoping a young kid who might read the book
would take away from the story? I’m hoping, first and foremost,
that they have a good story. I think one thing that happens
when you read a book that makes you think–
it changes you, as well. It creates empathy. Um, it creates understanding of people who you might not
otherwise meet in the world. -Mm-hmm. -And so, that’s
what I hope the takeaway is. I hope…
There’s a great scholar named Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, and she talks
about the importance of kids having both mirrors
and windows in their books. And so, this is an adult book,
but it creates the same thing. It creates windows for the
people who come to that book… -Right.
-…and see themselves in it. And also windows for people
who would never meet characters like the ones
that exist in that book. It-it is interesting,
because, you know, you’re known
for children’s literature, and… I-I know
it sounds weird to say, but it feels like you wrote
this book for the child in us. It’s not a difficult read,
but it is a difficult subject for many people to talk about. Some people say, “Oh, no, why do
you write about these things?” And, I mean, it’s similar topics that you write about in
your children’s books as well. Why do you feel it’s important to have those topics
spoken about? Why do you… why do you write
about difficult subjects? Because they exist. And I think
one thing that happens when you have a book
that can tell a story this way, people have someplace to go to
to begin a conversation. -Mm-hmm. -And I think that’s
what books are so great at doing is getting us to talk, uh,
and kind of taking away some of the fear
about the conversation. I think people, uh, it’s hard
for people to talk about race, it’s hard for them to talk
about economic class, sexuality, gender, all of these
different points of views, and when you have a book,
you can say: Well, let’s start by talking
about Red at the Bone and what happened in there,
and maybe this happened to me, or maybe this happened
to my friend. And so you can begin to gather
and have these conversations -across different…
-Right. It-it really is… I mean, that’s-that’s
how I’ve seen the world. That’s how many people
see the world. Like, you-you read a book, -Mm-hmm. -you feel like
you know the characters, you feel like you know the world
of the characters, and interestingly enough,
you become more fam… -you become comfortable
with it, you know? -Yes. I used to think that magic
was a horrible thing, and then Harry Potter changed
my views on all of that. Now I understand it.
I genuinely am more open to it. It feels like that is
what you’re doing with race, with sexuality,
with-with genders, with identities–
it’s a powerful story to tell. If somebody reads this book
and they just love the story, what is the one thing you hope subconsciously
will happen to them when they think about the
journey black people have had in America
with regards to their wealth? Ooh, that’s
such a great question. -(laughter)
-I-I try. I… I would love for there to be
more empathy in this country. You know? I would love for
people to really see each other. And what I hope
people take away, again, is first and foremost
a good story that really makes them
feel something -Mm-hmm. -and think something
and change some kind of way. Um, and so I hope
they fall in love with the characters in there,
and it, um… makes them want to create
some kind of change. Um, whether that’s change
around people’s economic status, whether that’s change
about how they look at people from different
economic statuses, whether it’s change
about how, you know, if it’s white folks
coming to this book, how they think
about black folks, whether it’s black folks coming,
that they know the history of what happened
in black communities -Right, right.
-around economic struggles. So lots of different stuff, depending on who’s coming
to the narrative. I honestly think you’ll achieve
that and a hundred more things. It’s one
of the most amazing books ever. -Thank you so much for being
on the show. -Thank you. -(cheering, applause)
-Red at the Bone is available now. Please go and get the book.
Go read the story. Jacqueline Woodson, everybody.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Type of work I aspire to do
    Applying empathy to influence understanding and the importance of communication..not exactly the same goals as she, but definitely along the same vein 👏🏾👏🏾

  2. OMG!!! I loved her books when I was a child and teen. I’ll have to checkout her new book. Awesome that authors are starting to be seen on late night tv shows more often.

  3. We're all on a hero's journey; what differs is the speed

    Wealth is nice and buys luxury, but the weight of gold is heavy

    Haha, might be why rich people buy fast cars; they need em to go fast

    Poor people don't need such contrivances to go fast, they're born that way

  4. Thank you Trevor or TDS team for bringing awareness to authors. I loved the reference to mirrors and windows, it's so true.

  5. Kind of hard hearing you talk about empathy, compassion, and understanding after seeing how you purposely took that Bernie quote completely out of context and didn't show the entire clip. Hope the paychecks r worth it.

  6. I'm teaching a 13 years old honors student about empathy and sympathy for humanity!🕯🤔 due to the daily barage of negative adult behaviors from the white house to the learning houses!

  7. Empathy and sympathy runs hand and hand…When children are taught Racism and prejudice they can’t separate the feeling..or handle the feeling…it becomes their demon which in turn makes them dehumanize other humans and also themselves…and thus Mass shooters, serial killers and children who kill their parents…. are presented to the world….

  8. So Walking Dead Premiered this week. Seems like it would be a great time to have on Danai again. Just a suggestion..

  9. Trevor Noah is deep state trash who convinced his largely white audience to vote for Robert Byrd's protege.

    BTW, the guy is from South Africa….and he wanted a woman mentored by a KKK Grand Cyclops to be POTUS. A woman who's husband gave us the 1994 Crime Bill, which was a mass incarceration bill.

    Fuck Comedy Central, and fuck you brainwashed bitches

  10. at the end of the day, Trevor Noah still shilled for a woman mentored by the KKK….

    this is a fact. Democrats own him. Own his entire fucking existence.

  11. I can see someone coming on the show and saying "I was inspired by Jacqueline Woodson's Red at the Bone" for something they made or did

  12. It feels like Trevor is a bit star struck! Perhaps he listen less than in other interviews, because he has so much to ask and he knows he has little time. I would really much enjoy a longer conversation between those two.

  13. TRAVEL ANOTHER COUNTRY CHANGES PEOPLE IF YOU GET TO KNOW THE LOCALS. HUMAN CONNECTION IS LACKING IN THIS WORLD RIGHT NOW. 🙇🏾‍♀️👫👬💆‍♂️💑🥁🎤

  14. Trevor, I love your guests and interviews! I'm so sick and tired of hearing stories from when celebrities first met Beyoncé.

  15. Her book, brown girl dreaming, honestly changed my life and I was so thankful to have read it at my young age. I hope that many young girls read the book because it empowers the growth of young black girls growing in a country that doesn’t appreciate them.

  16. To all Americans: Donald Trump has been accused by many women of sexual misconduct, including rape. He even had 2 LAWSUITS against him alledging he RAPED a 13 year old GIRL. If he wasnt president he would be ARRESTED. Something must give- we weren't ALLOWED to talk about it to this day. I INSIST we as a nation DROP EVERYTHING else IMMEDIATELY and focus FRONT & CENTER on this matter until it is satisfactorily RESOLVED. Not talking about it NOW means YOU CONDONE IT.

  17. Where does he get the time to read so many books? I have been reading a book for over 3 years and I have not reached the middle of it yet.

  18. Trevor Noah why are you electrocuting Jacqueline Woodson? She seems very uncomfortable and seriously distressed! It seems like you put her on an electric chair used for death row inmates.

  19. 💡 🗯✍🏽
    What a library of excellence she has created.
    🎬 1 📽 🎞 🗣 🎙 🗺 🌎🌍🌏 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Review❗️ Outstanding, thank you so much for sharing.❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ What an adventure 🤔🧐 👁👁 👍🏿 👩🏾‍💻 Good commentary,✅✅✅✅✅ One Journey🗺🌎🌍🌏 Let's Make It Count❗️

  20. Hi Trevor, if you wanna see book writers been treated as rock stars, you should treat Paulo Coelho to an interview in your show. That would rock!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *