Talking With White Children About George Floyd

“Following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, many white people have been asking me, ‘What is the right thing to say to my white children about George Floyd?’
 
There is no one right thing to say, of course. But, for those who ask, I share my approach to talking with my own white children about race and racism. If we do this thoughtfully and steadily—which is to say daily or weekly—our children won’t end up grasping at troubling stereotypes every time a conflict arises. Instead, they will have a much clearer picture of the systemic causes of racism—and understand that George Floyd’s murder took place in the context of such systems of division, injustice, and discrimination.”

READ: Talking With White Children About George Floyd- article by Ali Michael

Check Out Molly of Denali-Alaska Indigenous Children’s Television Show

Given Covid, some families are relying on screen time more than they would otherwise.  Fortunately, there are some quality programs available. Molly of Denali is one of them. 

Young children learn about themselves and the world around them through stories. creator and executive producer of Molly of Denali,Dorothea Gillim says, “(Stories) help us make meaning of who we are, of our experiences.”The stories and images children hear, see or don’t hear and see “informs their sense of self and their outlook on others…Indigenous children need to see themselves depicted onscreen as heroes, while non-Indigenous children should learn about cultures that have been stigmatized and marginalized over time.”

“When I was growing up, all I saw was really stereotypical, inaccurate, and oftentimes negative portrayals of Native people. And very seldom did I see any Alaska Native representation in media,”  shares Princess Johnson, creative producer of the show. “The story they adopt is overwhelmingly one of deficit and disparity. This narrative can undermine relationships with other communities of colour.” Many say Molly of Denali challenges that.

Article: Alaska Indigenous children’s television show wins Peabody Award

 

 

 

 

“I am Black boy magic”

 

I Am

I am history.  I am beautiful. I am smart. I am creative

I am human. I am my ancestors. My Black is powerful.

I am strong. I am Black boy magic. I am Black excellence.

I am golden like the sunset on the Sahara desert.

I am Kamari. A Black boy in america

And just in case you don’t know what Black boy mean, this is what it means:

Beautiful. Loved. Accomplished. Creative. Kings. Bright. Original. Youngsters.

Remember: Knowledge is power. And we need more love, not hate.

Raising Antiracist Children-Ibram Kendi’s Insights

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)