How to Educate You and Your Family About Racism

July 29, 2020


Cassandra Campbell

Have you been avoiding avoiding talking to your family about race? Or maybe denying that you even have to broach the subject. The time is upon us, friends. Whether you feel like “oh, of course, I am an anti-racist!” or perhaps you are of the “I-don't-see-color” genre. No matter your stance, grabbing some books and sitting down with some friends and family is never a bad thing! So, let's get started to figure out how to educate you, and your family, about racism.

How to Help Your Little Kids to Understand Racism

If you don't know how to jump into the racism conversation with your child, this will help! Thanks to Matthew Cherry's award winning short, you and your littles can watch a story unfold. After that, watch how the conversation naturally unfolds for all of you. And did we mention it won an Oscar? So definitely watch this “cartoon” right alongside them.

Anti-Racism Short Film for Families

Instead of popping open the laptop every evening, to share more stories about kids of different races, hit up your local bookstore! Or library. And then delve into these books. And yes, they are kid-tested and parent-approved!

Hair Love by Matthew Cherry (Yes! It's the same as the short film above, but in bedtime story version!)

The Gospel in Color by We are Patrol

Anti racism resources for kids and families
Books to talk to your kids about race

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o is for kids and parents alike. Wondering the origin of some of these kids book? Us, too! A great way to understand a different perspective on race and education is to hear it in someone's own words. This is a great NPR interview with a little background of the author and the book.

The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

Meet the Author – Nikki Giovanni, who wrote Rosa.

The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial by Susan E Goodman

A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory

Enough! 20 Protesters Who Changed America by Emily Easton

Say Something by Peter H., Reynolds

Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson

Educational Resources to Dive Deeper into Race Education

The internet is never short on resources. Sometimes you can find yourself in a sea of all the wrong search engine results. Have no fear, no search engine needed here! We have weeded out all the fluff to find the nuts and bolts of how to educate your kids about racism from the eyes of professional educators.

If you don't know LaNesha, it's time you should. She is the seasoned teacher behind Education with an Apron. With over a decade and a half of experience in the classroom, she has compiled a long list of outside resources, as well as created tons of her own. Her website, blog, and Instagram, are great resources for “innovative teaching ideas” for educators and parents alike.

One resource LaNesha recommends are flashcards from Beaut & Beast. These flash cards are designed to “teach children about cultural acceptance, self love, reading, and vocabulary. “As fellow small business owners, you will appreciate this can-do company'sorigin story.” The founder, Estephanie Ortiz, says “I created Beaut&Beast Co. because I was a teen mom and although I knew I wanted to break the cycle of poverty, low self-esteem, and worthlessness… I didn't know where to start. I wanted to teach my son to love himself, believe in himself, and never follow the trend… but I didn't know where to go to teach him his power. I couldn't find what I was looking for, so I created it.”

LaNesha holiding Melanin STEM flashcards

How We Can Help Teens to be Anti-Racist

We Are Not Equal: Understanding Racial Divide by Carol Anderson and Tonya Bolden

Resist: 35 Profiles of Ordinary People Who Rose Up Against Tyranny and Injustice by Veronica Chambers

All American Boys by Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds

The Bluest Eye by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Toni Morrison is a great escape into the Depression Era with eleven year old Pecola Breedlove. Please know this does deal with more mature content. So, maybe you can read this on your own and then decide if this is age-appropriate for the teen you'd like to share it with.

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson – originally it came in book form. Now it's available as a movie, and free on several platforms. In addition, Stevenson also has this amazing TEDTalk that has been viewed over 6 million times.

This Side of Home by Renée Watson

A Good Kind of Trouble & Something To Say by Lisa Moore Ramee

Color in Law by Richard Rothstein

#NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line by David Hogg

Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan

We Are Power: How Nonviolent Activism Changes the World by Todd Hasak-Lowy

TLDR for the skimmers…

And if this post was Too Long Didn't Read, but you are still here at the bottom – that's great! You can just start at the top of the list and work your way down. You can skip around to pick and choose how you want to educate yourself and your family. Or just simply start the race conversation. If we don't change ourselves, then we must conclude that nothing will change around us.

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Casandra is a born and bred East Coaster who finds herself braving the heat of the Valley of the Sun with her husband and three cute kids all for the love of Showit.