Keep Talking to Your Kids About Race and Racism

Unless you’re a black American, you probably (hopefully?) Found a couple of minutes in February to talk to your kids about slavery, civil rights, and racism. At some point during the month, kids would come home from school talking about the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. or the seat on Rosa Parks’ bus, and you jumped right on top of it and told them about the history of racism in our country and how it happens. a lot is still present.

You might be thinking, “Aha! I did it! I had one of those important parenting conversations! I saw the opportunity and I took the opportunity! “And if so, that’s good. But now that Black History Month is over, your job is not done here.

Simran Noor, a New York-based strategist and director of Noor Consulting, tells the Washington Post that parents need to talk to their children about racism all year round. Research what they see on TV and social media and help them make sense of it, she says:

“Teens and teens who develop critical thinking skills can talk about their privileges, for example,“ How do you benefit from white supremacy as a white teenager? How, for example, might your experience differ from your black police colleague? ”Adds Nour, who promotes anti-racism training throughout the country. Make sure your children take marginal voices and perspectives into account when working on school projects.

Show the kids how to be an ally. The best way to teach this is by example. “Parents need to teach their child to speak when they see injustice, but parents need to model it. Ask yourself, “Where and how can I show my children how to do this?” – says Nur.

If you’re unsure of where to start these conversations, some of our past articles on race and racism will help you:

In a Washington Post article, author Kimberly Seals Allers offers some additional recommended resources for parents:

The Teaching Tolerance [South Poverty Law Center] website has information on how to facilitate discussion of race with students of all ages. Charis Books , a feminist bookstore, has compiled a list of children’s books about race and allies. The Monticello team recommends books such as Henry’s Freedom Box and My Name is James Madison Hemings for young children. The National Education Association and the Monticello Pedagogical Institute provide resources and training to discuss complex history.

The key is to arm yourself with information and resources, and then look for opportunities to talk about these issues with your children, no matter what month it is.

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