How to Raise an Anti-Racist Child

How can white parents raise anti-racist children in this time of violence against people of color and protests? We talk with Dr. Ann Hazzard, a clinical child psychologist who was on the faculty at Emory University in Atlanta and co-author of Something Happened in Our Town:  A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice; and Dr. Joy Harris, a Full-time Lecturer at Princeton Theological Seminary and co-author of The ABCs of Diversity: Helping Kids (and Ourselves!) Embrace Our Differences.

In this episode, we cover:

  • Embrace Race – Founded by black and mixed-race parents to provide resources for raising black children.
  • One Talk at a Time – Providing support for Latinx American, Asian American, African American, and Black youth and their families to have conversations about race and ethnicity. They have a separate section for Black, Asian, and Latinx parents.
  • What is the difference between not being a racist and being anti-racist?
  • What is wrong with saying and believing any of the following: “love will conquer all”, “we are all one race-the human race”, and “colorblind is best”.

Tip 1. Talk about Race

  • Racism thrives in silence. Why are many white parents silent on these issues in general and within our families more specifically?
  • When do children start to recognize racial differences?
  • When should white parents start talking to their kids about race?
  • How to start the conversation? 
  • Fantastic resources:

Tip 2: Acknowledging & Celebrating Racial Diversity

  • Why is it important to acknowledge and celebrate racial diversity?
  • How do we acknowledge and celebrate racial diversity?

Tip 3: Recognize systemic/institutionalized racism and white privilege

  • What do we mean by systemic racism?
  • What do we mean by white privilege?
  • How early do kids start defaulting that things associated with being white are better than being black?
  • How can parents address institutionalized racism with their children who will likely benefit from it?
  • How do we help teach our kids to understand power inequity so they can name it, unpack it, and dismantle it when it happens in the real world.

Tip 4: Talk about Violence Against People of Color and the Protests/Resistance

  • Something Happened in Our Town:  A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice 
  • How much should we share with our children? At what age should we talk with them about these hard topics or is it better to shield them from such “grown up” problems?
  • Talk about How People Make Change in a democracy.
  • Not a one-time conversation. 
  • Appropriate conversation for age and developmental level. 
  • Should young children watch the news and videos? 

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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth

Image Credit: Anastasia Shuraeva