I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on antiracist parenting, or parenting generally. I’m just what you’d consider an white privileged Mama trying to make a positive impact on the world where I can.
I invite you to look at the resources below and add to the list!
Sure I’ve worked hard to built a life for my family. But I certainly won’t pretend to have faced the uphill barriers and battles that countless others have. To say my handful of glass ceilings pale in comparison is an understatement.
As a lawyer I have particularly low tolerance for things like inequality, injustice, blatant disregard for the law. Especially when those who are responsible for upholding it abuse their power.
As a parent, and as many of us are feeling right now, when you’re a Mom to one you’re a Mom to all.
The starting point
The fact is we should be more than ashamed of the current state of the world in terms of racism, lack of inclusion and diversity. There aren’t enough words to describe the inequities that exist, nor will basic apologies suffice. It is not enough to work within the current systems we have in place…
We must be accountable and disassemble and rebuild together in the most unbiased, equitable way possible, free from discrimination and oppression. In doing this we must be intentional about eliminating inherent and deeply entrenched traditional white bias understandings of what is fair, equitable, just, and inclusive.
Actions speak louder than words, period.
This matters if we want to help facilitate more conscious and longer lasting change. Unfortunately this type of change doesn’t happen overnight. And it is a lot work. Simply making temporary efforts based on a trend is not acceptable. It’s a life long commitment to growth.
We have a responsibility to be antiracist and to raise antiracist children, especially those of us who benefit from inherent white privilege. This change requires conscious learning, empathy and self-awareness for ourselves and for our children.
It starts at home discussing these tough but vitally important issues with our kids. Looking back at history and learning from our past mistakes is often the most helpful starting point. This may include admitting when we’ve acted racist.
Best resource for adults and teens
In terms of adult education and understanding what antiracim actually means in the first place, Brené Brown seems to be completely on point. She turned to thought leaders like Ibram X. Kendi, New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist and the Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University (podcast here). He also has resources suitable for teens!
Best resources for kids
Actively teaching children to be antiracist should start from toddler age. Typically this could be more about reinforcing antiracism and actively addressing racist/non-racist thoughts and actions as they arise with children.
This reason I say this is because in my experience, social constructs like race and white privilege are not inherent to children. Rather, biased views, policies and systems are taught. Kids naturally think of people as a single human race. They recognize color but it is an irrelevant factor.
And if your kids are anything like mine, they revel in celebrating absolutely every single multicultural event they can. When my babies were younger, I was lucky to have amazing nannies and a preschool/daycare that was actively inclusive and antiracist — they were able to nip discrimination flying under the radar (as it often does). Admittedly, this was not the deciding factor in sending our kids, but over time the value in this level education became abundantly clear. It has also made me realize where I needed to grow.
We’re looking to build a list of great resources specific to help teach children to be antiracist. As a starting point starting from board book and beyond:
Antiracist baby by Ibram X. Kendi
The world needs more purple people by Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart
”I am …” series of books by Brad Meltzer (I am Rosa Parks and I am Martin Luther King, Jr., and more)
Rebel girls series of books (rebelgirls.com)
Raising little allies-to-be recently fell into my lap which is fun for kids. ️
Please join us in putting together a list of the best resources to help raise antiracist children and what resources you think might be missing. Comment below!
With much love,
Note to readers: This is meant to be a respectful and non-political post. Any inflammatory or hurtful comments will be deleted.
+ Show / Hide Comments