There is just so much to read out there – it overwhelms me every time I start to gather my favorites for this monthly round-up of reads! This month I’m keeping it focused and it is all about race and family, especially talking with our kids about race.
- 5 Reasons We All Need To Talk to Kids About Race AND 6 Things White Parents Can Do To Raise Racially Conscious Children – These two posts, written by Bree Ervin, are part of a series at Everyday Feminism. The first post does a great job explaining why we, as parents, we shouldn’t shy away from talking to our kids about race. The second offers guidelines that are directed toward white parents (presumably raising white children), but some of the suggestions also apply to parents raising kids of color. Read Bree’s posts here and here.
- A Conversation About Race, Identity, & Discrimination With My 6-Year-Old – Pakou Her shares a conversation with her daughter about kids who question her identity and highlights why it is important to talk to kids about race. Read Pakou’s conversation at 18 Million Rising.
- Lupita Nyong’o’s appearance on Sesame Street – I love Lupita Nyong’o and I love Sesame Street’s “The Skin Your In” initiative. Put them together and…yeah!!! As soon as I started playing this video on my phone, my boys heard Elmo’s voice and ran over to see what was up. My 7-year-old wanted to know “who that lady is,” so I told him she is not only an incredible actress but also seems to me very smart and a person of integrity. (Role model alert!!!)
- Stefanie Turner Brown writes at My Brown Baby about how the Sesame Street video “helped my daughter discover her brown skin” and shares some tips for helping to guide our children as they explore race, without imposing our own lens or experience on them. Read Stefanie’s thoughts.
- I missed the premier of “Black-ish” on ABC, which airs on Wednesday nights, but Denene Miller’s thoughts about the show have me curious. I also appreciate her honesty in sharing her own struggle with “what, exactly, it means to be solidly middle class Black folk raising kids who spend must more time in an insulated existence that is colored quite differently from that of their peers with less money, education, access, and diversity.” It is something I struggle with too, and I agree fully with her conclusion that “I want my daughters to be proud of who they are. And that can’t happen if they are running from their own people.” Check out Denene’s post on Teaching Black Children To Appreciate ALL of Us.
- Listen to this interview on NPR with Chad Goller-Sojourner about his experience as a black child adopted by a white family. Regardless of whether adoption is part of your story, if you are a white parent raising a child of color, it is worth being aware of how our white privilege intersects with our children’s experiences. Listen to Chad’s interview here.
- The Racial Parenting Divide – Lastly, some serious food for thought. This essay by Brittney Cooper examines cultural differences in parenting in the United States and raises interesting points I had never thought about, as far as how parenting styles stem from not only different historical experiences but also contemporary differences in how black and white children are treated by the world-at-large. “Stakes are high because parenting black children in a culture of white supremacy forces us to place too high a price on making sure our children are disciplined and well-behaved.” Read Brittney’s essay at Salon.