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Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in…

Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America (edition 2018)

by Jennifer Harvey (Author), Tim Wise (Foreword)

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"Raising White Kids is a book for families, churches, educators and communities who want to equip their children to be active and able participants in a society that is becoming one of the most racially diverse in the world while remaining full of racial tensions. For white people who are committed to equity and justice, living in a nation that remains racially unjust and deeply segregated creates unique conundrums. These conundrums begin early in life and impact the racial development of white children in powerful ways. What can we do within our homes, communities and schools? Should we teach our children to be "colorblind"? Or, should we teach them to notice race? What roles do we want to equip them to play in addressing racism when they encounter it? What strategies will help our children learn to function well in a diverse nation? Talking about race means naming the reality of white privilege and hierarchy. How do we talk about race honestly, then, without making our children feel bad about being white? Most importantly, how do we do any of this in age-appropriate ways? While a great deal of public discussion exists in regard to the impact of race and racism on children of color, meaningful dialogue about and resources for understanding the impact of race on white children are woefully absent. Raising White Kids steps into that void."--Amazon.com.… (more)
Title:Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America
Authors:Jennifer Harvey (Author)
Other authors:Tim Wise (Foreword)
Info:Abingdon Press (2018), 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey



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White kids are developmentally behind kids of color in terms of racial development. As parents, we want our kids to grow up “not racist,” but we often aren’t really sure how to do that. The two most popular approaches, colorblindness and diversity programs, are problematic and are not having the results we want.
Colorblindness denies the reality of kids’ own eyes – they can see difference, and if we deny that/make it taboo to discuss, and don’t talk about racism, they will come up with their own (incorrect) reasons for why people of other colors have different jobs, live in different places, and are treated differently.
Diversity programs, by celebrating the history and food of all-but-white kids, leave white kids feeling isolated and don’t give them a place to fit themselves in. They need to learn what it means to be born with white privilege, part of a racist system in which they are going to benefit, regardless of whether they want to or not. Since they can’t not be white, they need to figure out how they are going to define themselves as white people who are antiracist but who also don’t deny the painful truths that come with being white. They need to find a way to be comfortable in their own skill by finding the agency to determine how they are going to be in the world.
Phew! How do we do this? Counterintuitively, we need to actively talk about race (talk about skin color!) and give our kids ways to talk and learn about what they are seeing. Beyond “having diverse toys and books” we need to actively look for ways to help them see racism, learn about the agency of people of color who have been working for change, and about white people who have been working for change. We need to demonstrate how our family culture is one of respect, conversation, and antiracism, and how we search for ways to be agents for change.
The author “is a writer, speaker, and professor at Drake University. Her work focusses on racial justice and anti-racism…[she] is ordained in the American Baptist Churches (USA).”
This book has clear suggestions and includes the research to back them up. There are takeaways at the end of each chapter. If you only have time to skim the book, my suggestion is you take a look at these and then also skim the book for bullet points, italicized examples, etc. There’s a reference list at the end of the book, including some online groups. ( )
  JanesList | Jul 17, 2018 |
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