by Ellen Baker and Maureen Crone
This summer we have been presented with an opportunity to teach our kids about the
history of race relations in America. We have learning tools at our fingertips, delivered
every day in our news feed. It can be overwhelming… but it can also be a gift.
Here are a few helpful resources to get you started.
1. The Embrace Race website has a host of articles to help parents get started, or
keep going, as we continue the learning process and work to end racial injustice
in our country. The important thing to remember is that it is never too late to
start– but the earlier, the better, as stated on their site:
“Research from Harvard University suggests that children as young
as three years old, when exposed to racism and prejudice, tend to
embrace and accept it, even though they might not understand the feelings.
By age 5, white children are strongly biased towards whiteness. To counter
this bias, experts recommend acknowledging and naming race and racism
with children as early and as often as possible. Children’s books are one of
the most effective and practical tools for initiating these critical
conversations; and they can also be used to model what it means to resist
and dismantle oppression. “
2. Books like “Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial
Injustice” by Marianne Celano can spark a conversation about fairness, and can
help your children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives. The New
York Times curated a book list for parents of young children to encourage
discussion about the current unrest, as well as the history of racial inequity in our
3. This radio interview with child psychologist Beverly Daniel Tatum addresses the
worries children have, and how parents can help.
4. This article in the Massachusetts newspaper Patriot Ledger addresses the Black
Lives Matter movement, what children are thinking about right now, and how to
help them turn their fear into understanding.
5. This book list published by Embrace Race features titles for children of all ages,
with lengthy descriptions of each title. Additionally, the Thomas Crane Public
Library has published reading lists for both children and adults on race and
racism, and will be discussing some during their weekly book chats. For more
information and resources, visit http://facebook.com/pg/tcplibrary/ or contact
Clayton Cheever at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of these books are available on Trinity’s Virtual Book Fair site, or in your local
Have the conversation.
Ellen Baker is the Trinity Lutheran School librarian.
Maureen Crone is the director of marketing and development at Trinity.