Letting Black Children be Children

Children are defined by their innocence, playfulness, curiosity, and youthfulness. However, those characteristics are defining White children. A set of studies titled, “The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children,” conducted by Phillip Goff and colleagues, explains that with the prejudice and discrimination surrounding Black children, they need fewer basic needs and protection. In other words, their innocence is stripped away. But why? Why are Black children treated differently than their White counterparts? In the set of studies, …

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Black Children At Risk

Children of color are at a high risk of being negatively impacted by implicit prejudices and biases. The way that people manifest their prejudiced beliefs can be dangerous to children’s ability to learn and be successful outside of the classroom. In a study done by Goff et al. (2014), children of color were much more likely to be perceived as older than they actually were. Young boys of color are then treated as older when going through the criminal …

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Kids are Still Kids No Matter their Skin Color

When it comes to police officers who murder young Black or brown kids, the important piece here is that the children themselves were performing harmless acts – yet those acts were seemingly threatening to a police officer. When has there ever been a White child who was sought after by a police officer for just playing in a park? These kids are just kids. Just because of the color of their skin does not immediately make them more dangerous …

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Politics with Kids

Special Guest Post by Ginelle Wolfe ’16 I knew work would be tough the day after the election because I work with kids at an elementary school. Each teacher I talked to said they were not going to discuss the election, as the assumption is that most students would not even understand what happened. While I understand that approach, my situation is a little bit different. I teach English Language Development classes, so the majority of my students are …

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The “Bad Kid”

I went to the same public school system for first through eighth grade. My town was not that large, so the size of my grade never exceeded 70 people. Aside from a few students who moved either to our town or out of it, the kids who were in my class stayed relatively the same each year. The reason I’m writing about this is that it recently occurred to me over these eight years, there was only ever one …

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Colorblind Ideology in Children

On Thursday, we talked about the use of colorblind ideology in general, but what I found most interesting was the way in which it was taught to children. In the study by Apfelbaum et al. (2010), children were put into two conditions: one in which colorblind ideology was taught and one in which talking about racial differences was promoted, or the value-diversity condition. The thing that interested me the most was the way in which they explained their reasoning behind either colorblind ideology or talking about racial differences. The color-blind condition focused on similarities. The message that was told to the children was, “…we need to focus on how we are similar to our neighbors rather than how we are different. We want to show everyone that race is not important and that we’re all the same”. The value- diversity version focused on recognizing differences and celebrating them. The statement taught to these students was, “…we need to recognize how we are different from our neighbors and appreciate those differences. We want to show everyone that race is important because our racial differences make each of us special”.

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Is Your Baby Racist? Newsweek Article

After reading Beverly Tatum’s Article, Defining Racism, I remembered a article posted in Newsweek that reminded me of what Tatum is trying to address. Tatum suggests a very bold statement, that every white person is a racist. At first when I heard this it was hard to swallow and think to myself, a white female, that I am in fact a racist. But after looking at Tatum’s definition I realized that indeed I am a racist. Tatum suggests that all White people are racist because they benefit from being white and are given automatic privilege. Now with saying this, it does not mean that all white people are mean and prejudiced against minorities, it just means that we benefit and are therefore racist. So, why is this so important to admit to being racist or accept this title?

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