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
Related Reading Materials
Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn by Erin Winkler
Because children do see color, COLORBLINDNESS is not an option.
- 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.
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 improves racial attitudes across groups
- Give context – teach about the country’s history of bias and discrimination
- Diversify your life & library. Even slightly more exposure to other racial 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
- The Colors of Us
- Shades of People
- The Skin You Live In
- All the Colors We Are: The Story of How We Get Our Skin Color / Todos los colores de nuestra peil: La historia de por que tenemos diferentes colores de piel
- Movies like Glory Road and Hairspray make good discussion prompts for older children. The themes are upbeat and relatable—sports in one and music and dancing in the other. The plots provide some historical context for talking about how unjust systems create injustice and disparities and how this plays out in our communities and relationships. Hidden Figures is another great movie for prompting informed discussion.
- A Young People’s History of the United States
High School & Adults
- The New Jim Crow
- Just Mercy
- White Rage
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria
- Toxic Inequality