Lee & Low Books published a great article on their blog this morning. In the article Tu Books Publisher Stacy Whitman discusses why avoiding discussions of race with young people can do more harm than good. We couldn’t agree more. If you find yourself in conversations where others still believe the colorblind approach is the best way to go, Whitman offers some great research and resources to explain why this is not be the case. I’ve included an excerpt below, but I hope you’ll check out the article in its entirety here.
“Research has shown that the “colorblind” approach—teaching children that it is racist to acknowledge racial and ethnic differences—is doing no one any favors, and in fact can reinforce racist attitudes and assumptions, and especially reify systemic racism. “Black children know irrefutably that they’re black by the time they’re about 6 years old and probably earlier,” one article noted in our research. Do white children know they’re white? If not, how do they think of themselves?
At Lee & Low, we’ve always believed that even the youngest readers have the capacity to understand and appreciate difference—that’s why many of our children’s books address issues like racism and discrimination. But you don’t have to take our word for it: many experts, educators, and academics have done work on this topic as well and their recommendations can help point parents and teachers in the right direction.”