Kids and Race empowers adults and children to take responsibility for dismantling racism through conversation and action.
What can we do as parents and educators to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the brave men and women who fought for civil rights and equality for all Americans?
There are many ways to honor Dr. King’s legacy: we can read books, we can take part in a protest or a day of community service. But we at Kids and Race have a new vision for how we can continue the work of finding our shared humanity with people who are different from us: play.
We invite you to join us for the first annual MLK Day of Play, Monday, January 21st, 1:00pm at Ravenna Playfield.
“That’s not the real Captain America. The real Captain America is White,” my son declared upon seeing a coloring page of Sikh Captain America.
At six years old, Adam is both very literal and very obsessed with superheroes. When Adam and his four-year-old brother play, they yell, “Hulk angry! Hulk smash!” They adopt Batman’s gravelly voice and the stoic attitude. They gravitate toward Halloween costumes with plush muscles sewn onto their tiny chests and arms. My husband and I try to speak openly with our kids about race and racism, about gender stereotypes and toxic masculinity, but I worry that our kids’ obsession with superheroes may be undermining what we are trying to teach them.
America is such a large country that it’s easy to forget that there is a world outside of it. American culture and media have seeped into other countries and we can begin to believe that our traditions are universal, when in fact, they are very particular to our time and place.
The problem comes when kids grow up thinking “My tradition is the correct way” instead of “my tradition is one of many different traditions. My tradition can be special to me, but I can also recognize that other peoples’ traditions are special, too.”
At this very moment, there are grown-ups that resent, ignore, hesitate, or down-right fear touching the subject of race. A feeling that “enough has been said,” a sense that “others can deal with it,” or a belief that “it is here to stay even if something should change.” But as the hands of time continue to tick generation after generation, the same jack-in-the-box keeps popping up because adults can’t control an itch to turn the handle of hatred.
Dear Kids & Race: My preschooler is asking questions about Thanksgiving. What should I tell him?
This is a great question. When most of us were growing up, we learned a lot of inaccurate stories about Native Americans. We learned, for example, that the Pilgrims were good, albeit hapless, people fleeing religious persecution who survived their first winter in Massachusetts due to friendship with the Wampanoag, most notably Squanto.
Katharine Strange reviews Something Happened in Our Town, by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, and Version Control, by Dexter Palmer.
Dear Kids & Race: Shouldn’t we be talking less about race and more about the “haves” and the “have-nots”? After all, you can have a rich Black person and a poor White person. Why do we need to focus on race so much?
In high-poverty areas, a lack of resources can make accessing sports very difficult. While coaching children’s sports can be very rewarding, it’s also a large time commitment. In communities where parents are struggling to make rent every month, volunteering to coach soccer or little league might not be feasible.
Mutanda Kwesele hopes to change all that. As the founder and director of non-profit The Rising Point, Kwesele aims to bring high-quality soccer coaching to marginalized communities.
Language is a slippery thing. In many ways, it feels like we’re trying to pin down abstract concepts with words that never fully do the job.
In the last several months that I’ve edited this blog, I’ve worked to develop consistent editorial standards on how we talk about race.
Positive counter-narratives are important. Children form ideas about groups of people based on personal relationships and media exposure. If the only Hispanic character your kids know is Ramon from Cars, (guilty) they are going to develop implicit bias and stereotypes about Hispanic peoples.
Hispanic Heritage month (Sept 15-Oct 15) is a great time to read, learn, and discuss Hispanic and Latinx peoples and culture with your kids.