Books To Help You Talk About Race and Discrimination with Your Children

We live in a discriminatory culture. Despite laws and movements, we've still got stereotypes and biases and preconceived notions about how people might look, act, speak, work, believe. In an effort to confront my own biases and raise children that stand up for justice, fight against discrimination and openly confront and dialogue about it, I've rounded up a list of books for you.  It is my hope that this booklist will help you begin to talk with your child(ren) about race and discrimination, equality and our part in it as we work to change it. 

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As Sarah Mackenzie says in her new book The Read Aloud Family, stories are what shape us. Stories are what change us. Story allows us to step into another person's shoes, to learn about their life.  Stories create empathy, compassion, courage to change in ways that we can't predict.

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I've created a booklist to help start the conversation with your kids. Here are just a few books for littles that made it on to the list:  Lila and the Crow, Let's Talk About Race, Whoever You Are, Separate Is Never Equal.

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And for mamas and other parents? Here are a few options for you: A Different Mirror, The Hate U Give, Half The Sky, This Will Be My Undoing. These will be coming soon on a separate booklist.

The conversation has to start right now. Studies show that little babies and children as young as 3 or 5 can have be biased.  Don't think you're very biased? Take this test, it is quite convicting!

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It is up to us as adults to begin an open, caring, respectful dialogue with our child(ren) about race, gender, identity, wealth, language, power, status. Is it hard? Is it awkward? Is it uncomfortable? YES! But without us modeling it for our kids, they won't have a safe space to learn. 

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This article and this one too may be helpful to help you identify your own biases and learn more about discrimination. Want a list of books to help you start the conversation? We've rounded up a list for both adults AND kids to change your thinking, open a dialogue and begin the conversation. These books include authors, subject matter by and about women, men, children, white people, people of color, humans of different socioeconomic status, backgrounds and more.

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