Building Black Families In Iowa
Raising Black children in an overwhelmingly white state isn’t always easy. On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Black parents about their children.
Eric Harris is a father and husband living in Iowa City, where he’s raising six kids. Harris has three felony convictions, and has used his experience to advocate for the restoration of voting rights for other Iowans with similar records. His own rights now restored, Harris will vote in his first presidential race this year.
“(My kids) don’t have to be exposed to constant violence like I was,” Harris says. “Sometimes I’ll share a story with them. Something in my past… about being 18-years-old and sitting in a solitary cell by myself for 23 hours a day. I feel like my kids have a better shot because they can see the things that I’ve been through and they also watched me climb out of those things.”
Later in the program, father and daughter George Barlow and Erin Haggerty share their experience moving from Northern California to Iowa City in the mid-1980s, when Haggerty was a teenager entering high school. Also, RaQuishia Harrington, who serves on the North Liberty City Council, talks about how growing up as a young mother in Waterloo shaped her current career in youth advocacy.
- Eric Harris, Iowa City
- Erin Haggerty, New York City
- George Barlow, Grinnell
- RaQuishia Harrington, North Liberty