Submitted by CCCL_DesireeC
My son was just 3 years old when he asked, “Mommy, are your teachers brown like me?” Since then, I’ve made sure to highlight stories of people who looked like him so he could see himself reflected in heroes: real and fictional. What I didn’t rush to share with him were the ugly truths of racism, which now I can’t avoid. Like countless other parents from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, I don’t quite know how best to explain racism−and the need for racial justice−to my little one. However, I did find some resources available through the library that have helped me.
One such resource is TeachingBooks, which offers themed reading lists, book discussion guides and more activities connected to children’s books. I recently used this when I built a list of Anti-Racist Books for Kids and came across The Breaking News by Sarah Lynne Reul. While this picture book doesn’t target racism, it’s great to show little ones the feelings grownups and kids experience during devastating community events. Through searching the book’s additional resources on TeachingBooks, I found a video of the author reading the book which sparked my son’s interest and began a discussion of emotions being felt across the nation right now and why. From there, we began to explore deeper topics of race.
For even more resources to help talk to kids about race and racism, visit this TeachingBooks special edition newsletter highlighting Black voices and experiences in children’s books. And because talking to our young kids about race doesn’t just mean sharing stories of racial injustices, here are some book suggestions for fostering Black Skin Love and Celebrating Black Families.