Even the most well-intentioned people cannot help but internalize racist thoughts, ideas and patterns. That’s why it is essential for parents and educators to raise young ones with the intention of being “anti-racist.”
Scholar Ibram Kendi has much to offer on the subject. Here’s one nugget:
“My understanding, when parents desire for their kids to be not racist, they typically do not talk to their kids about race. They avoid conversations about race or even explaining the racial inequities and dynamics in their community as a result. Typically, those kids are taught to be racist by society. And so, by contrast, when you’re essentially raising a kid to be anti-racist, you’re deliberately encouraging them to talk about race and racism. You’re deliberately teaching them that all the racial groups are equals. You’re deliberately showing them, yes, there are different colors and there are different cultures, and we should value them all equally.”
How Can Parents Make Their Kids Understand How To Be Anti-Racist? NPR’s Noel King talks to children’s author Renee Watson and anti-racism scholar Ibram Kendi. (7 min listen)
Kendi just published a brilliant board book outlining some key steps to being anti-racist. Feast your eyes on Ashley Lukashevsky’s artwork!
Purchase a copy of Antiracist Baby here. Consider gifting a copy to your local school, community center or public library.
For more information, check out Kendi’s Ted Talk: “The difference between being ‘not racist’ and antiracist.” (51 min)