Throughout the past week, I’ve been listening and learning. And I plan to continue to do so. Black lives matter. And I want to help.
Racism has reached a crisis point in the United States, and I want to share some of my favorite anti-racism resources here. I’ll be adding to this post as I learn more. I especially want to focus here on resources for young children because it’s so important to start focusing on anti-racism early.
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links (at no cost to you).
Black Lives Matter – Anti-Racism Resources for Parents and Teachers
I was lucky to have read Nurture Shock soon after it came out in 2011. Because of the book, I knew that it’s important to talk to children about race early. Talking about race with children (rather than trying to create “color-blind environments” for them while ignoring the topic of race) will encourage children to embrace diversity. I’ve been especially focused on that since my first multicultural grandchild was born in 2013. You can read a bit more about my family and resources I’ve used in my post about Montessori-inspired respect for diversity at Living Montessori Now.
They’re Not Too Young to Talk About Race
Here are some anti-racism resources via Pretty Good.
This free infographic from The Children’s Community School of Philadelphia has even more of the essential information about race for parents and teachers of young children. Get the free “They’re not too young to talk about race!” infographic and social justice resources here.
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To all of my white families: I know how personal this issue feels. I remember the first time someone called me out on my white privilege, I was offended. I had never before considered myself complicit with white supremacy, but there it was, staring me in the face. Anytime we are asked to change, it is uncomfortable. And white families, I truly believe this is a necessary change we are being asked to embrace by fellow Americans who need to know that we stand behind them in full support. If we benefit from a system that aims to oppress, hurt, and murder BIPOC, then we must find it within our hearts to begin challenging that system and letting go of the safety nets that we’ve come to trust. This is not an easy journey. I first was told that I was racist when I moved from New Castle, PA to New York City. I hadn’t before considered how racist my hometown was. It was all I knew. Thankfully, I was surrounded by so much diversity in the city, as well as loving and patient friends who helped me begin to recognize my tendencies. Graduate school changed me for the better. Cultural competency is necessary for people in my field (I’m a licensed marriage and family therapist). My program educated me on racial inequity and social justice problems we face in this country. Here is a simple guide that was inspired by a wonderful conversation I had yesterday with @latinxparenting. Don’t we all want everyone to feel safe, loved, seen, protected? 👇🏽Please, only serious reflections below. If you are triggered, that’s okay. Let us make space for your feeling triggered. BIPOC – if you feel called, please leave your stories here, so us white people can practice listening. We’re in this together.
Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism
I’m very impressed with the content from “Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism,” the Sesame Street/CNN town hall for kids and families. You can watch the entire town hall on racism for kids and parents for free here.
Let’s Talk About Race
With children ages 4-7, watch Let’s Talk About Race via The Tutu Teacher. She says: “I made this video for the kindergarten students at my school. I realize this might be a helpful video for non Black children to also watch. In the video I discuss what racism is and how it’s impacted the lives of Black and Brown people. I also read aloud the story Let’s Talk about Race. Finally, I encourage young people to think about what actions they can take to use their voice to speak out against injustices.”
Resources for a Variety of Ages
For a variety of ages, here are helpful resources from the American Montessori Society.
Living with Pain
@polishedplayhouse did a wonderful job of describing the pain Black parents live with always:
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Tired 🖤 . As George Floyd was lying in the street, with his neck distorted in a way that would ultimately lead to his murder, he called for his mother. . I heard later that his mother is deceased. Yet, as his own life was ending…he called for his mother. . Mothers of Black boys live watching the clock. There is a countdown. Years, weeks, days. There is a point when our sons are no longer cute. Or innocent. Or viewed as children. It happens early and sometimes subtly. It’s parents literally shielding their children from our sons in public play spaces, or other kids assigning them the role of the “bad guy” during imaginary play, or teachers taking their developmentally appropriate frustrations as preschoolers and labeling them as “aggressive.” . I recently learned the term “weathering.” It is the physical, mental, and emotional toll racism has on Black people. Watching Black men murdered on live television is not entertaining. It is exhausting. And triggering. My son will someday be a man. A Black man. You won’t remember how organized his room was, or that I taught him to read at three. You may see him and cross the street, or clutch your purse, or call the police on him for insisting that you follow the rules. The countdown is on. . But racism won’t ruin my son’s childhood. I won’t let it. I will protect him and his magic for as long as I can. You will NEVER EVER see a picture or video of my black son throwing a tantrum on social media. His pain is not your entertainment. Black pain is not your entertainment. We are tired. Literally exhausted. . Despite the tragic end, I pray that George Floyd finally got his rest. In perfect peace, with his momma. . . . . . . #polishedplayhouse #blacklivesmatter #justiceforgeorgefloyd #blacklives #blackboyjoy #consciouskids #theblackmancan
Like so many, I’m always moved by this video of 12-year-old Keedron Bryant singing “I just wanna live.”
Equality and Peace Resources for Parents and Teachers
I’ve spent a number of years gathering together character education resources. As homeschoolers, our unit studies were based on character traits. Now I focus on character education with my grandchildren and in my blogging.
In my post with equality and peace resources for parents and teachers, equality and peace resources for parents and teachers, you’ll find resources for a variety of causes.
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