Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Books for Raising Race Conscious Children

Covid-19 has had us all under stress since March, and then came the police killing of George Floyd.  So many emotions with this one and so much pain across our country.  2020 has been a tough year and it's only June.

With the police brutality that's been going on for years, in addition to overall racism in our country, it's a hard topic to talk to our children about.  It's not easy and how much you divulge depends on their age and what they can handle.  I think if you haven't already, starting with the discussion about slaves and mistreatment in our American history is a good place to begin.  Then you can talk about what racism is, and how unfortunately people still have a hatred towards people because of the color of their skin.  And how someone we hope can protect us, the police, unfortunately are racist and a few of them hurt a man, killed a man, just because he was black.  Sigh.  Just writing that is hard.  It's a hard topic for adults, and not easy for children to comprehend!

So, as a therapist, I love bibliotherapy. We have a collection of books at our house that raise awareness of differences and some on the history of slavery.  Starting with some of these can hopefully help children learn about race and diversity and start great family discussions.

1) Wilma Rudolph. I love this book series of famous people, and this one is about the famous Olympic runner who overcame Polio and lived in the segregated South.

2) Ada Twist Scientist is about a little girl with a lot of questions, and learns the value of thinking and STEM skills.

3) Josephine Baker Another one from Little People, Big Dreams, about Josephine Baker who struggled to have a career as a black woman in America, and took off to find her dreams in Paris@

4) Who Was Harriet Tubman?


5) The Snowy Day. The classic story about the boy who wanted to take home a snowball in his pocket!

6) Who was Sojourner Truth?


7) Martin's Big Words is a great children's book for an introduction to his life.  We read it every year around MLK, Jr. Day.

8) A Girl Named Misty is a sweet book from American Girl Doll about the life of the famous African American ballerina!

9) The Story of Ruby Bridges is about a little girl having to deal with school segregation.

10) Wilma Unlimited is another book about how Wilma defeated Polio, a great inspirational book!

Let us know what cultural and racially diverse books you have for kids!