Saying ‘No Thanks’ to Lying to Kids about Thanksgiving

Saying ‘No Thanks’ to Lying to Kids about Thanksgiving

by Dr. Tehia Starker GlassUNCC’s College of Education.

Tis the season for depicting the stories that coincide with the holidays!  Thanksgiving is up next and my husband and I have the responsibility of educating our 18 month old and  3 year old about what and why we celebrate.

We choose to say, “No Thanks” to going along with the ‘traditional’ depiction of the Thanksgiving story–the one where the Pilgrims and Indians sing ‘kum by yah’ around a perfectly styled dinner table.

We believe we have to prepare our boys with a foundation of historical accuracy for not only their racial group, but other’s racial groups so they can discern truth from a false or deficit-oriented narrative about themselves and others.  Based on current curriculum that is taught in schools, we know we have to provide a less Eurocentric perspective of history.

It’s critical that our boys learn:

  • a historically accurate representation of Thanksgiving–time, location, people. Ask, ‘Who are the “heroes?” ‘Was it really Thanksgiving like we see in current time?’
  • accurate language–names of the Native Americans/Indigenous people,
  • multiple perspectives (Native and European) of Thanksgiving, 
  • and a developmentally appropriate representation of Thanksgiving. What my 3 year old learns will be different than what my 18 month old learns.

We identified resources that support what we’d like our boys to see.  We found Native American/Indigenous authors, illustrators, historians, organizations and the like to get an authentic perspective of Thanksgiving. Beyond the resources, we chose to incorporate larger ideas of Thanksgiving and what it means to our family.   

Here are some resources we found. So, pull out the arts and crafts supplies, books, and the love, and have some fun celebrating Thanksgiving! 

Constructing Knowledge about “The first Thanksgiving”

 

North Carolina Native American History (for caregivers and teachers-includes lesson plans)

 

Lesson Plan for grades 4-12

 

Children’s Book List from American Indians in Children’s literature

Bible verses about giving thanks. 


 

Building the Capacity for Color: Navigating Race/ism Conversations with Children

Pursuing Extraordinary Outcomes in Public Education National Conference

UNC Charlotte Center City

October 30, 2017

Presenters: Lucretia Carter Berry, Brownicity.com, Tehia Starker Glass, UNC Charlotte

This presentation represents a university and community partnership of assisting parents to discuss race with their children.


/broun’ isədē/

  • Brown represents melanin. Ethnicity means “that which we have in common.”
  • We are all hues of brown.
  • We are family-focused and dedicated to advocacy, education, and support for racial healing and antiracism.

 

The Capacity for Color

Telling children, “ we don’t see color,” or “everyone is the same,” does not help them understand that race should not matter. In fact, it leaves them vulnerable to racial socialization. Researchers have found that to be effective, conversations with children about race have to be explicit and in terms that children understand. And when incorporated into family life and their school curriculum, informed and healthy conversations become normal.

  • 6m. Notice differences
  • 2.5 – 3y. Group based on differences (race, gender)
  • 3y. Black children choose White
  • 5y. Children see race as a major point of difference or distinction, even when it is not discussed
  • 7y. Children can accurately reflect social status bias and will make choices or judgments based on who they perceive as having more power or privilege
  • White children as young as 7y demonstrate that they believe Blacks experience less pain than Whites.
  • Even when kids are told that people are all the same, White kids continue to demonstrate stronger racial biases than children of other groups. (Schutts & Olsen, 2011)

We live in a hyper-racialized society where proficiency is needed. We need to normalize healthy and informed conversations about skin tone and race.


To Do:

Talk openly and explicitly. If you don’t teach them, someone else will! Talking empowers them. Not talking leads to complicit racism.

  • Narrow the white conversation gap
  • Have explicit conversation about race to improves racial attitudes across groups
  • Give context – teach about the country’s history of bias and discrimination
  • Diversify your life and library. Even slightly more exposure to other racial/ethnic groups, even through children’s books, helps to counteract bias and discrimination
    • rich diversity of our world.
    • feature positive representation and also cover themes of social justice.
    • authors are people of color
    • main protagonist is a person of color


Books & media to help foster informed & healthy conversation

For Parents, Care-givers & Teachers

 

 

Younger Children

 

High School & Adults

 

 

Helpful resources and publications are posted on our facebook page daily.  LIKE and FOLLOW to stay engaged.

Normalizing Informed & Healthy Conversations About Race

Normalizing Informed & Healthy Conversations About Race

Although this post was created for a school’s parents event, any and everyone is welcome to engage and share this content.


At this month’s Parent Advisory, Lucretia will lead us in an important discussion. Telling children, “ we don’t see color,” or “everyone is the same,” does not help them understand that race should not matter. In fact, it leaves them vulnerable to racial socialization. Researchers have found that to be effective, conversations with children about race have to be explicit and in terms that children understand. And when incorporated into family life and their school curriculum, informed and healthy conversations become normal. We will:

  • talk about navigating skin tone and race conversations with children
  • share books and resources
  • share some examples of dialogue

Keep reading →

‘What LIES Between Us’ Fall 2017, CLT

The next “What LIES Between US‘ five-week course  is being hosted by Church at Charlotte, Sunday evenings beginning September 10th from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

We designed this series specifically for ‘beginners’ to the race conversation and analysis. Participants gain historical and social context for racial division, support for self-reflection, healing, and growth, and have the opportunity to develop community with others who want to be a part of the dialogue and transformation.

Register here.

 

June 12th is Loving Day

This year’s Loving Day (2017) marks the 50th anniversary of the1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia which struck down all anti-miscegenation laws remaining in sixteen U.S. states. Learn more at LovingDay.org.

What has changed in 50 years?

According to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, in 2015, 17% –one in six– of all U.S. newlyweds had a spouse of a different ethnicity, marking more than a fivefold increase since 1967, when 3% of newlyweds were intermarried.

In observance of Loving Day,  Nathan I connected with Brett & Anjelica to candidly talk about marriage, family, and life in 2017. Though we have never met in person and are on opposite coasts (USA), we discover that we have a lot in common. This was fun!

 

Interviewed by Anjelica

We continue to be pleasantly surprised when we learn that someone is interested in the Brownicity story; that people outside of our family are getting something from it; that they are moved and inspired by it.

I see so much division and fist pumping, but very few people stepping across the aisle to offer a gentle embrace for solidarity and inclusive instruction on how to reconcile. I think that’s mainly because there is great hurt and those who feel misunderstood. So when I listened to Lucretia share about her movement Brownicity, I almost wept with relief. Here was someone saying so many of the things I wish I had the expertise and finesse to share with all of you.

Anjelica Malone of A Global Tribe of Women

Anjelica Malone is a lactation educator counselor, writer, creative, and shoppe curator, who “met” us through The Global Mom Show with Mary Grace Otis (Episode 29).

Read more of Anjelica’s interview with me. And get to know Anjelica and Mary Grace. You’ll love these global-minded, talented, creative, conscious, difference makers.

Our pre-interview FaceTime chat. What a great smile!

Parents & Teachers: Help! Get a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Parents and teachers:

Participate in this study (Parent SurveyTeacher Survey) conducted by our very own Dr. Tehia Starker Glass of UNCC’s College of Education.

If you are one of the first 50 participants for this study, you will receive a $50 Amazon gift card!  Simply, complete both the survey AND an interview by July 15, 2017.  In addition to the gift card, you may also receive 1 of 10  complementary registrations to the Pursuing Extraordinary Outcomes in Public Education (PEOPE) Conference held at UNC Charlotte Center City Campus October 30th. This year, PEOPE is featuring a series of presentations on conversations with children about race–including the results of this study!

Thank you for your participation and contribution to the research! Click a link below to start the survey.   

Parent Survey 

Teacher Survey 

Once again, THANK YOU!

The Strength of Vulnerability

(Church at Charlotte’s City Series Podcast with guest Dr. Lucretia Carter Berry of Brownicity.)

What is she going to say about race?

Who is she going to blame?”

These are the thoughts that I imagine are behind those wide eyes staring forward at me.  I can feel people subconsciously strapping in for what ever wild and treacherous ride that they think I am about to take them on. ’The nervous tension of anticipation’ is how I describe it.

In this particular instance, upon my arrival, I was greeted with being told that the number of registrants for the ‘lunch and learn’ was almost double the norm. I was shocked for two reasons. It has been my experience that white Christians—especially in the South—want to avoid learning or talking about race/ism. And I am not a well known speaker. So having a large turn-out should have been my first clue that this was going to be a unique experience. 

While waiting for the interview to begin, I contemplated how to navigate beyond ‘the nervous tension of anticipation’—thinking through wording, phrasing, tone, humor, and all the things that help disarm and relax the listener who may be anticipating a ‘racial rant.’

Tammy, the interviewer, introduced me, accrediting me with far more accolades than I deserve. (Hey, in this line of work, I’ll take all the encouragement I can get!) But it was when Tammy turned the focus on herself, that I felt ‘the nervous tension of anticipation’ leave the room.

She bravely exposed her own need that had brought us together. She contextualized my significance within her lack. I could sense ‘me too’s’ and ‘ok, it doesn’t sound so bad coming from Tammy’s mouth’ and ‘If Tammy went there, so can I.’ I could almost hear a collective exhale. She warmed their hearts.

In doing this work, I have witnessed that many would rather use their time to impress or intimidate folks with how much they know about race issues…show how ‘racist’ they are not, which as you can imagine, is in no way helpful. Tammy’s vulnerability—her willingness to share her personal limitations—was the grace filled strength that did the hard work. All I did was simply pour into the hearts she had prepared. I liken it to the faithful obedience that collapsed the walls of Jericho (Joshua 6).  My intriguing content and presentation skills did not collapse those walls. It was the strength of Tammy’s vulnerability.

Listen here. (Church at Charlotte’s City Series Podcast with guest Dr. Lucretia Carter Berry of Brownicity.)

Here are links to our favorite resources.

‘What LIES Between Us: Fostering First Steps Toward Racial Healing’ Series

Why? Because we need to know what has happened and how it has affected all of us before we can move towards recovery. Bring your brokenness, your pain, your questions, your desire to heal, your willingness to learn…bring your whole self to this experience and leave inspired, encouraged and empowered.

Register here.


You desire healing and change, but where do you start? How about with this 5 week group study that meets each THURSDAY in MARCH! This series is designed to get you started on the path to being the change you want to see in the world. You will gain historical and social context for racial division, support for self-reflection, healing and growth, and have the opportunity to develop community with others who want to be a part of the dialogue and solution.

Brownicity is family-focused and dedicated to advocacy, education, and support for racial healing and antiracism. If you are new to engaging in race discourse but want to do it in a way that is helpful and hopeful, this series is perfect for you! You will feel inspired, equipped and empowered!

Registration includes:

  • ‘Sweet Talk’ open reception (6:45p-7p weekly)
  • What LIES Between Us Journal & Guide: Fostering First Steps Toward Racial Healing by Dr. Lucretia Carter Berry
  • media screenings
  • resources
  • materials
  • skillfully guided group discussions by the Brownicity Team
  • artist lead engagement
  • community safe space
  • Brownicity-themed activities for kids (preschool and elementary)

Space is limited in order to foster community. So register early!

Need childcare? 25 spaces are available for preschool and elementary aged children. So when you register, add the FREE tickets for your children.

The Global Mom Show Podcast: Talking to Your Kids About Race with Lucretia Berry

For our family, it seems ridiculous to pretend that we don’t see differences in our skin tone. In fact, we celebrate the diversity of our beautiful hues that make up the tapestry of our and the ‘hue-man’ family. Also, it seems odd that we would not talk about race with our young children, considering that we live in a society obsessed with ‘racial’ distinctions–even to the extent of pretending not to see them. Our conscientious approach to raising informed, instead of ‘colorblind,’ children evolved into Brownicity: The Art and Beauty of Living and Loving Beyond Race.

On The Global Mom Show, I had the opportunity to share more on the heart and story behind Brownicity and the creation of the series and book, What LIES Between Us Journal & Guide: Fostering First Steps Toward Racial Healing. To get updates about when this series and others are offered, subscribe to our mailing list (website of fb page).

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