Talking With Our Kids About Race, Part I

Blackout Friday, November 2016, Seattle WA [Photo by Sharon H. Chang]
“How do I talk to my kids about race? Where do I start?”

“How do I talk to them about something that isn’t real, yet is a reality?”

“How do I teach my young child about something so abstract?”

I define myself first as a mother, feminist, artist and activist. I am a writer, photographer, multimedia maker and creator. These pursuits are my passion. They give me life and fill my soul every day. But since writing my first book Raising Mixed Race, I have also found myself in the work of equity consulting (particularly in school communities), parent/adult antiracist education, and youth diversity support. With a Master’s Degree in Human Development and a decade working as an early educator before I became an artivist, it feels right to have come full circle.

Starting with the first field interviews I conducted for Raising Mixed Race, I have at this point listened to, advised, and spoken with hundreds of parents about their experiences with parenting and race. These parents are people of all different racial and ethnic backgrounds. I’m a researcher and read many studies, books, articles on systemic racism. I go to race conferences, equity trainings, attend events to watch some of the most renowned race speakers. But I’ve learned just as much, if not more, from being in community with so many parents over the years.

To where I realized, I better write some things down. In particular, the answer to that question I get asked more than any other. I call it The Big Question. How do we talk with our kids about race?


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