10 Books for Children About Kindness
Lee & Low Books, a publisher dedicated to exploring children’s books through the lens of diversity, has compiled a list of books to inspire kindness and empathy. http://blog.leeandlow.com/2016/12/08/10-books-for-children-about-kindness/
Road to Racial Justice board game: Opening up conversations with young people
Road to Racial Justice is a free board game for ages 13 + available at http://www.roadtoracialjustice.org
In Kesa Kivel’s blog post for Raising Race Conscious Children about the game she notes, “Racism and white privilege are addressed through critical thinking, social analysis, and team-based discussion. Through the game, players become more aware that racism exists in many everyday situations (both interpersonal and institutional), learn why the situations are racist (stereotyping, tokenism, cultural appropriation, etc.), and acquire tools to interrupt these kinds of situations.”
100 race-conscious things you can say to your child to advance racial justice
In this post from Raising Race Conscious Children, quotes from the first 100 blogs are listed to model language that has been used in a conversation with a child regarding race and other identity-markers, such as gender and class.
How to Talk to Kids About Race: What's Appropriate for Ages 3-8
In this article from InCulture Parent, the author provides information about the developmental stages of children, age-appropriate books, activities, and thoughts about what to say. She also shares examples of conversations and activities she has shared with her students and children.
How to Talk to White children about Race: Here's How To Avoid Raising Another Rachel Dolezal
This blog post offers four insightful guiding principles in conversations with children about race. http://mybrownbaby.com/2015/07/how-to-talk-to-white-children-about-race
Article: Teaching Tolerance - How white parents should talk to their young Kids about race
Science writer Melinda Wenner shares her strategies on raising anti-biased children based on research and discussions with “developmental and social psychologists, race-relations researchers, and Africologists.”
Article: 6 Things White Parents Can Do to Raise Racially Conscious Children
Author Bree Ervin notes “remaining silent on the topic of race isn’t helping our children” and goes on to outline steps parents can take, including “be careful not to paint people of color as lost and persecuted souls looking for a White Knight”. She also shares examples on how children can be effective allies for their friends without silencing another’s voice.
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack (Peggy McIntosh)
This two-pager is a great introduction to the concept of white privilege. However, I suggest following up with the recent article, Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person, which explains the concept of intersectionality and the multiple systems of oppression. Breaking down white privilege is what we are fighting for, now more than ever.
BLOGS and WEBSITES
Rage Against the Minivan
Kristen Howerton is a brilliant writer. On her blog, Rage Against The Minivan, she shares her experience as a mother of a multiracial family. Some days she'll make you laugh out loud, other days she'll stun you with her informed, insightful analysis of racial issues in our country. She is the one who initially prompted me to take inventory of the diversity represented in our home... and my own racial biases. She has changed the lens through which I see the world.
Here are a few posts to get you hooked:
My Brown Baby
My Brown Baby is a website for "African American moms looking to lend their critical but all-too-often ignored voices to the national parenting debate." Creator Denene Millner and Managing Editor Jasmine Banks have created a valuable resource for all parents. For example, check out Jasmine's video, "Trump Election: How to Talk to Your Kids about this Mess" or this post on how "How to Talk to White Children About Race."
"MyBrownBaby is irreverent. Funny. Full of posts that make you think. Maybe even say, Amen, because it reminds you of what’s going on behind your closed door, with your family. It’s a place where African American parents and parents of black children and their opinions matter, and are heard, respected, and revered. For their poignancy and strength. For their intelligence and authenticity."
Just Jasmine Blog
Jasmine Banks, eloquent writer and powerful story teller (also Managing Editor of MyBrownBaby.com), brings an insightful perspective to the topic of racial justice on her blog, JustJasmineBlog. Her writing will stay with you and you will learn from her. Read her essays Just Play Right and I Just Don't Say I Am Black to see what I mean. Once you start reading, her words will pull you in.
1000 Black Girl Books Resource Guide
1000 Black Girl Books Resource Guide was founded by Marley Dias, the girl who led the #1000blackgirlbooks campaign. In Marley's words,
"I believe black girl books are really important because when you are young you want to read lots of books, but you especially like to read books with people that look like you. While I have books at home about black girls, the books at school were not diverse. Children do most of their reading in schools or because of schools. Teachers assign books that you must read. If those books are not diverse and do not show different people’s experiences then kids are going to believe that there is only one type of experience that matters. Also, if books are not diverse then kids will not learn about the experiences of other members in their community."
The database includes over 700 books with black girls as the main characters; more books are added each month.
We Need Diverse Books
This grassroots organization began in 2014 with a campaign to address the lack of diversity in children’s books. We Need Diverse Books “advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people,” with the mission of “putting more books featuring diverse characters into the hands of all children.” Their website offers resources for all book lovers to find diverse books, including a book finder tool (OurStory), a blog, booklists, opportunities for writers, and a Booktalking Kit designed to help "teachers, librarians, and booksellers promote non-majority narratives in children's literature." They also provide information on why it is important for all children to read diverse books. Check out their FAQ page to learn more.
Reading While White
Reading While White is a blog written by white librarians who are allies for racial diversity and inclusion in books for children and teens. Their mission statement is as follows:
"We are White librarians organizing to confront racism in the field of children’s and young adult literature. We are allies in the ongoing struggle for authenticity and visibility in books; for opportunities for people of color and First/Native Nations people in all aspects of the children’s and young adult book world; and for accountability among publishers, book creators, reviewers, librarians, teachers, and others. We are learning, and hold ourselves responsible for understanding how our whiteness impacts our perspectives and our behavior. We know that we lack the expertise that non-white have on marginalized racial experiences. We resolve to listen and learn from people of color and First/Native Nations people willing to speak about those experiences. We resolve to examine our own White racial experiences without expecting people of color and First/Native Nations people to educate us. As White people, we have the responsibility to change the balance of White privilege."
The authors and guest authors blog about books and reflect on their experience confronting racism in children's literature. The recent post, On Safety Pins, Advocacy, Whiteness, and our field, is especially powerful and relevant given current events; it outlines some of the work that needs to be done, as well as expectations for white people .