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Why Are We So Bad at Talking to Our Kids About Race & Skin Tone?!

Mamas! Have you ever thought, “How do I talk to my kids about race?” or “Why do I have such a hard time talking to my kids about race?”

Did you know that race is a man-made construct, and that you could be promoting racism without realizing it?

Well don’t panic! I know that we’re all doing our best and making decisions that we think are right. But just like we seek counsel and research how to talk with our kids about drugs, sex, and choosing a college, we should put just as much effort, if not more, into how to discuss race and skin tone. Because frankly, the state of our country and world rests in how the next generation embraces one another.

In this current political climate and with so many of us navigating a world that seems to be fueled by racial tension, we must seek help and even expert advice when it comes to this topic. Though this season seems to be especially hot and touchy, for many people of color, this is the thing we’ve needed.

It has been an opportunity to finally shine a light on what we’ve known to be true: racism is not dead in our country and many who say they care about racial unity and reconciliation, often choose to sit silent for fear of ruffling feathers. Well, the time is ripe for a healthy dialogue.

Many of you may remember a feature and guest video I did with Lucretia Berry. She is the founder of Brownicity and the author of What LIES Between Us: Fostering First Steps Toward Racial Healing. She most recently presented a TEDx talk highlighting what we all as parent need to know. Here’s an overview of the talk from Lucretia:

I share a few real life instances where people exhibit how horrible (funny) we are as a society at talking with children about race and skin tone. We’ve even resorted to promoting blindness — ‘colorblindess’ — to avoid the complexities and nuances of the conversation. I then share insights from current research and my perspective and experience on how we can do better, much much better. We don’t have to irresponsibly silence children with the ‘colorblind approach.’ When we responsibly normalize conscious conversations about skin tone and race, we empower children to be conscious, courageous, and creative as they navigate our hyper-racialized society and seek ways to bring healing and change.

The above video is just a snippet of Lucretia’s enormous breadth of knowledge when it comes to race and reconciliation. See below for more information on understanding race.

Please share this video with your family and friends.

Additional Resources:

Here is a post that Lucreita wrote with a list of wonderful resources for understanding the impact NOT talking about race can have on your children, and how you can begin making changes in your home and interactions that remove the struggle of race and skin tone conversations.

I’d love to hear your thoughts after watching Lucretia’s talk. Leave a comment below and I will be sure to respond.

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