Book of Etiquette for Black Children

When Dr. Debra Henry, author of Best Behavior: A Celebration of Good Manners for Our African-American Children, served at her six-year-old son’s school’s book fair she couldn’t believe what she saw. “Many of his associates were surly and rude,” she says. All I heard was ‘Give me.’ and ‘I want.’ And I didn’t hear a please or thank you in three hours.”

After witnessing such behavior in her son’s peers – of all races – Dr. Henry became charged with the idea of creating a tool for African-American children to help them better learn good behavior and etiquette. Using a children’s book with rhyming verse and stellar photographs, Dr. Henry, a practicing physician with a specialty in psychiatry, tackles such topics as how and why to say you’re sorry, why children should strive for excellence and the proper way to treat and address adults.

In a time when many children are not taught the proper rules of behavior especially as social mores change, Best Behavior is an excellent tool for children to see others like themselves engaged in good behavior with not only their peers, but with adults as well.

“Our children pay attention to us,” says Dr. Debra Henry who is also the proprietor of Black Society Pages, a lifestyle website for African-Americans. “We need to be a model of stability and decorum so our children can model our behavior.”

In print since late summer, Dr. Henry is optimistic about the excitement she’s heard about the Best Behavior from parents and how parents are spreading the news about the book primarily through word of mouth. She says Best Behavior 2 is in the works. Drawing on the success of Best Behavior, she promises that the content will “stay light and fun.”

For more information about Best Behavior visit the Black Society Pages website at

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