Comments on: Teaching Kids About Race & Racism http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/ The Intersection of Design & Motherhood Mon, 22 Sep 2014 14:06:04 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 By: Melanie @MelanieMedia http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-862772 Melanie @MelanieMedia Sat, 08 Mar 2014 00:31:14 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-862772 Truth. “Conversations about race happen constantly within families of color, because we have no choice but to equip our kids with knowledge for surviving in this world, and it is a true privilege for white families to choose whether or not to discuss this topic.”

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By: A Mom's Year » Happy Friday + Weekend Links http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-862506 A Mom's Year » Happy Friday + Weekend Links Fri, 07 Mar 2014 18:06:55 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-862506 [...] Gabby is never afraid to tackle difficult subjects, and this discussion on teaching kids about race and racism got me thinking.  We’ve certainly dealt with our share of, um, misguided comments. I’ll have to write [...]

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By: Kelly Wickham http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-861201 Kelly Wickham Thu, 06 Mar 2014 14:50:34 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-861201 I’m so incredibly late to this with all the reading I’m doing but thank you so much, Gabrielle! You also made me realize that much of what I end up sharing is private so I’m going to cull the items I worked on last month for a public post on my own blog. There were some fantastic conversations and people are really ready to dig in. That’s not to say that it’s bad to also sit and watch and listen: I do that plenty, too.

One post, in particular, that I wrote for Babble last summer always seems relevant and I’d like to share that one here, too.(And I’m just halfway through the comments on this post so I will read the rest!)

http://www.babble.com/babble-voices/kelly-wickham-mocha-momma-has-something-to-say/explaining-white-privilege/

Again, thank you for sharing (me! you shared me!) and for being a part of this important conversation.

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By: Emily F http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-859875 Emily F Tue, 04 Mar 2014 18:49:25 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-859875 thanks for the suggestion, I can’t wait to get reading.

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By: Jen http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-859330 Jen Mon, 03 Mar 2014 23:15:59 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-859330 I read this book last Fall and LOVED it. It made me evaluate my very American tendency to “pretend I don’t notice things” like race.

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By: Jen http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-859329 Jen Mon, 03 Mar 2014 23:14:47 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-859329 Yet another reason I need to read Nurtureshock! My daughter is almost 5, in preschool, and is one of the only white kids in her class. It’s been great, and it’s made me re-evaluate my strategies when it comes to educating her about race.

Solipsistic as ever, I’m sharing a link to a blog post I wrote about it. At the end of the post I include how one of my friends also made me aware of a great app created just to help parents talk about race with their kids. http://palecetacean.com/2013/10/04/race-and-children-in-america/

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By: Lauran http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-859290 Lauran Mon, 03 Mar 2014 21:28:56 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-859290 Hi Gabrielle. Such a great post on a critical subject. We also live in Oakland, and our son is African American (we are white). Needless to say, I think about racism many times every single day. We receive a lot of information and support from Pact, an adoption organization that places children of color (http://www.pactadopt.org/app/servlet/HomePage). Their library has many great books about talking with kids about race, whether or not your child is adopted. There are no easy answers, but talking about this stuff openly and honestly is the only place to start. And THANK YOU for re-iterating the Nurtureshock point of view — the idea of raising kids to be “color blind” may sound like a good thing, but in actuality it is doing everyone a huge disservice. Kids DO notice differences, and if we don’t talk about them they think they are “secret” or “bad.”

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By: Sara http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-859251 Sara Mon, 03 Mar 2014 19:40:07 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-859251 Karen,
I just posted above, but can you tell me more about what you message to your daughter? My son is an Ugandan -American (I’m a white American and his dad was a black Ugandan). I work with children and on a regular basis kid (of all ethnicities) ask in disbelief, “That’s your son?” I would love to hear more about what other parents tell their kids. Thanks!

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By: jessie http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-859206 jessie Mon, 03 Mar 2014 17:55:10 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-859206 I don’t mean to post too many comments in this thread, but thought some people might want to know (if they don’t already) about the people-colored crayons from Lakeshore Learning: http://products.lakeshorelearning.com/learning/People-Colored-Crayons. If your children need to be reminded that there is no single “skin color,” this set is great. My biracial daughter loves it. (Do I need to add that I have no affiliation with Lakeshore other that having bought the product?)

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By: jessie http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-859199 jessie Mon, 03 Mar 2014 17:40:42 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-859199 Jessie — This would break my heart too. Where do you live? Is there a local online parenting/mom community where you could post about finding other mixed-race families? My children (3 and 6) are biracial but they are lucky — they know so many kids whose parents have different skin colors that they don’t think much about it. I’m sure when they are older there will be pressure to identify with one or the other, but for the moment, they see enough of themselves reflected in their peers that they aren’t sad. If you can’t find other families, look to books. Remind your son that there are many, many people like him, including our country’s president.

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By: Miggy http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-859194 Miggy Mon, 03 Mar 2014 17:17:18 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-859194 I know I’ve lived in a bit of a bubble when it comes to race and racism. Part of the bubble was out of my control–I’m white, I was raised in a white community, etc. But the other part of the bubble directly falls on my shoulders as I often questioned how bad could racism still be, it’s not the 1960′s anymore? In my defense (if I’m allowed one) I don’t consider myself racist and therefore I think I extended that same assumption to everyone else. Obviously that’s incorrect thinking and I was clearly in denial. To combat that denial I think I often overcorrected so as not to seem racist, things like “Oh there’s a black person be extra friendly!” I didn’t think those exact words, but I can see it in my actions. I was so eager not to be racist, that I didn’t realize I was probably being more racist.

Now that I have a daughter with very obvious physical disabilities I’m starting to understand racism a little better….or at least I am more aware of it. My daughter is stared at, pointed at, whispered about, etc on a daily basis. She also knows what it’s like to never see anyone like her and I’ve seen her feel extremely self conscious around toddlers who don’t know any better, but who grab at her unusual arms anyway.

The thing is I know that before my daughter I certainly had my prejudices against disabled people–and I still do. Same with racism. Instead of shaming myself or pretending my prejudices don’t exist, I now just try to be honest with myself, admit my biases and then ask myself why I think/feel that way. I really do think everyone is prejudice in one way or another and rather than being in denial about it, we need to be honest with ourselves and then commit to doing better.

Do I expect disability prejudice/racism to be completely overcome, ever? Realistically, no. But I try to educate and advocate for dissabilites through my blog and personal interactions, have patience and grace with others around me and try to be more aware and do better for myself.

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By: Sara http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-859167 Sara Mon, 03 Mar 2014 16:01:06 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-859167 Jessie,
Thank you for sharing. I am a white woman raising my beautiful and amazing son (a Ugandan-American boy) in the upper midwest. Sadly, his father is deceased. This post and attached articles have me thinking again up how best equip him to successfully navigate his multiethnic reality. Could you share more about what you and husband have messaged to your children? I find that many of the conversations become “us” vs “them,” but in a multiethnic family, it isn’t so “black and white.” My son is just as much me, as he is his father. Thanks for any advice!

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By: Cheli http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-858739 Cheli Sun, 02 Mar 2014 22:43:45 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-858739 bell hooks’ homemade love it a book we just got for our girl. she loves it, and so do we.

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By: Kirsten http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-857913 Kirsten Sat, 01 Mar 2014 03:49:45 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-857913 I’m a 54 year old white woman raised in a town that was almost completely white. We moved to a city in WA 14 years ago and I was immediately relieved to find my girls in a racially and ethnically diverse school and town. That was the first step in their lives being richer and more evolved than mine.

I know my limitations mostly because of my background. My parents were liberal but still I was not around any other ethnicities until my father moved to California when I was 17. Suddenly, my eyes were opened to the “real world”. I’ve always known that I had to possess some racist tendencies. How could I not? I’m not saying I used racial slurs or treated others horribly but my world was lacking in knowledge of other familes…races…ethnic groups. I had to possess some preconceived and probably erroneous notions.

Reading the article above and following other links and reading them proved it. Did I think when I picked up nude pantyhose it might not be for others? Did I notice that most of my children’s books were filled with white families? Had I noticed that my dolls were all white when I was a child? And did I really think that buying my girls dolls of other races….a black Barbie, an Asian Barbie, would be enough? I have checked out NurtureShock from the library to read the chapter mentioned above and hope to continue to evolve.

I’m not sure how well I have expressed myself here but hopefully the thoughts from my heart will shine through.

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By: Kara http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-857843 Kara Sat, 01 Mar 2014 01:23:21 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-857843 Yes please read the chaper in Nurtureshock about racism that book should be handed out at hospitals!

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By: lyndsay // coco cake land http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-857822 lyndsay // coco cake land Fri, 28 Feb 2014 23:47:03 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-857822 this is such an important and valid discussion, gabrielle – both online and in each of our homes! my son will grow up as mixed race – we already try hard to maintain his half Chinese heritage. where we live in vancouver, it’s very diverse as far as ethnicities – and my husband and i are both very open and accepting to everyone of all races, religions, sexualities, etc. i hope and pray that the world continues to grow and change and become more accepting! lots of great links and books for me to explore as outlined in the comments! (ps i read bell hooks in university – a wonderful, deeply powerful writer.)

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By: teresa http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-857779 teresa Fri, 28 Feb 2014 22:35:43 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-857779 Great Topic- I have to share a sweet innocent thing my little granddaughter said the other day….in all seriousness….she asked her Mother…
“Are we Black or white?” aren’t we all the same to Heavenly Father?
They live in California and enjoy the advantages of a state that is very diverse.
Thanks for your post.

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By: kitterlee http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-857768 kitterlee Fri, 28 Feb 2014 22:05:58 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-857768 What a great topic! I recently read a novel that has a theme of racism – “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s told from the perspective of a Nigerian woman who immigrates to the US and her experiences with racism here. For me, a white woman if my 40′s, who has lived in racially diverse areas for half my life, it was very eye opening. It made me think about things that I’ve been completely oblivious to.
I rarely talk to my children about race, and only if they initiate it. Thanks so much for bringing up the importance of it.

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By: Zoe - SlowMama http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-857766 Zoe - SlowMama Fri, 28 Feb 2014 22:02:18 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-857766 Nurtureshock has long been on my list of must-reads — I’ve read other Bronson books and liked them — and this is a reminder to finally do it. As a pink-skinned mom of two African-born brown-skinned girls, I have a LOT of thoughts and feelings about this subject — some of which I find hard to articulate. Some day I hope to write more about it. Looking forward to checking out the links you listed.

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By: Jessie Rivers http://www.designmom.com/2014/02/black-history-month/comment-page-1/#comment-857701 Jessie Rivers Fri, 28 Feb 2014 19:30:31 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45334#comment-857701 Oh, thank you for igniting this great conversation! And all of these reading recommendations have come at just the right time for me.
I am a white woman, my husband is african american, and together we have a 5 year old son. We have talked more about race and skin color in his short 5 years than I ever did growing up. We answer questions and discuss his observations of all people, we talk about his physical traits; how his skin color is the combination of mommy and daddy, he has my lips, daddy’s nose, and my brother’s eyebrows…
And a couple of weeks ago, at bath time (which is not my greatest time of day for wise words and stimulating conversation), he broke my heart with one short talk.

He said, “mommy, I’m sad today”
I said, “why? did something happen at school?”
he said, ” it’s just that no one else is like me and it’s lonely”
I said, “what do you mean no one’s like you?”
he said, “well, jake and abby are dark like daddy and alex is light like you and so is rachel. but no one is like me and they all tell me so”

There I sat with no wise words, no solve- the- problem answer, just staring at this beautiful, insanely observant little boy, trying hard not to cry and reassuring him that he is not alone.

So, thank you Gabrielle for opening this dialogue and to everyone for recommending books and blog posts and for talking.

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