Educating Black Children About Racism

There is a very fine line between what to teach and what not to teach to our African-American children. It seems as if they pick up on just about EVERYTHING exposed to them. From learning how to tie their shoes, to calculating numbers, black kids utilize what they learn into their everyday lives onto adulthood. Children are the future, so what is instilled within them at a young age, determines the future of society. A social issue that has been stirring up major controversy in America over the last hundreds of years is racism being taught to our black children.

When Racism is Introduced

Is it necessary for children to be shown the harsh reality of racism? Would it be better for them to figure it out on their own? Some feel as if racism should be something that should never be spoken of to a child because of it potentially having a negative impact on their views on other races. On the other hand, others feel like children should be aware of racism, so if they ever experience it they will know what to expect and how to react.

Some African American families talk about ‘the white man’ in front of their children, while some prefer not to. If a black parent habitually refers to Caucasians as “white people” in front of their kids, it would not be constructively teaching a child about racism. Instead, it is training the child’s mind to look at color. Studies show that children become aware of the variety of skin tones as babies and develop their own views on races by the time they start an elementary education.

Essentially, the judgement of other races has everything to do with skin color.  Research indicates that racism is learned through the exposure of the differences between ethnicities and the interactions within different cultures. This causes one to develop stereotypical ideas about ethnicities outside of their own race, causing the mental progression of racism. It is further suggested that toddlers are more likely to choose to play with kids of their race, rather than those outside of their race.   This shows that when children are exposed to societal differences, such as race, it can have an immediate effect on how they treat their own peers.  Therefore, we must find the balance between teaching our children about racism, while also teaching them how to not be racists.

To Sum It Up

If we teach our black kids how to be racists, all we are doing is contradicting ourselves. It is important to know the right things to say in front of your child and what is acceptable without teaching your child how to practice racial discrimination. Some African American families wouldn’t be bothered if their children grow up being prejudice towards other ethnic groups. Nonetheless, for the ones that do care, be mindful of what you say around children, so they do not grow up with racist tendencies. Our children need to be educated about racism and its social effects, but not in a way that promotes ill thoughts towards those who do not look like us. Despite of the common differences that you may encounter socially, always remember: stay woke kids.

 

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Bria Patton

Bria Patton earned a Bachelor's of Liberal Arts degree in English from Texas State University. She has a passion for helping adolescents transition from high school into college, which has led to her becoming an Admissions Counselor for the University of Texas at Arlington.

Bria Patton

Bria Patton earned a Bachelor's of Liberal Arts degree in English from Texas State University. She has a passion for helping adolescents transition from high school into college, which has led to her becoming an Admissions Counselor for the University of Texas at Arlington.