So here we are…afraid to talk with children about skin tone and race because we fear that we might say the wrong thing. But think about it, since the inception of our country, we’ve mostly talked about race within a framework to justify inequality. Then, post civil rights movement, the ‘colorblind’ approach seemed to be the preferred method for talking about race, or should I say ‘not talking about race.’ So, here we are, ready to change and heal from racism, but without language, a framework and courage to engage in conversation.
Let’s face it, as a nation, we have very little experience grappling with this topic in a way that offers healing and progresses us towards change. So, accepting where we are, we must not allow ourselves to be stifled or paralyzed. We must–for the sake of equipping our children to do better than we have done–forsake our fears and with grace, clumsily stubble forward.
Awkward forward movement is better than poised paralysis. Fortunately, there are some great resources to help parents and teachers grow more skilled, confident and comfortable in this area.
Raising Race Conscious Children is an online resource that offers a supportive environment for parents working to actively challenge racism. This incredible resource fosters empowerment through blog posts, strategies, workshops and conversation models. Raising Race Conscious Children encourages and engages us with this:
We can start talking about race even if we don’t have all the answers. We can start talking about race even if we are afraid we will say the wrong thing. It is inevitable that we will make mistakes—that’s a part of the process. But if we commit to collectively trying to talk about race with young children, we can lean on one another for support as we, together, envision a world where we actively challenge racism each and every day. It starts one conversation at a time.
Guest blogger, Dr. Elford Rawls-Dill, PhD, wrote
For parents and teachers, the thought of nurturing critically race conscious children/students can be intimidating. Here in America, the concept of critical consciousness can be a complex structure for most adults. However, throughout my child rearing and teaching experiences, I have constructed a concise and age- appropriate method for providing teachers and children a framework to better understand the value of critical consciousness in the classroom & home settings.”
Yes, it may be a little intimidating at first, but the reward of raising conscious children far exceeds any discomfort that may come along with the journey.