When is the Right Time to Have the Race Talk With Children?
While out to dinner with my son and his father, an interesting conversation was served. Gavin looked at his dad and said, “You are brown.” It was at that moment that I knew where we were going. His father then looked at him and asked the question, “What color are you?” Gavin’s reply shocked me beyond words, “white” is what he said. My eyes widen, as I tried to regain my composure. His father proceed to go on and ask, “What color is your mother?” Gavin politely said, “White.” I could not believe it. It was at that moment that I knew it was what we educators sometimes call a “teachable moment,” and I began asking myself; what is the right time to have the race talk with a four year old?
When I look into the eyes of my son there are feelings of joy, fear, happiness, pride, sadness, and concern; not only him but for every African American male in the United States. The truth is that as parents of black children in America, our life experiences tell us that we must caution our children that equal is not always the law of land.
Fortunately, for my son whose father is a business owner, and knows first-hand the many obstacles that black males face in our society is staying in his ear regarding the dos and don’t’s of life.
As a writer and educator much of my work has led me to become engaged in social issues. As a mother, I worry about how I will talk to my son about the alarming number of incidents of police violence on black males, which is a major social ill.
It is my sincere hope that this blog will spark discussions and raise awareness of the concerns that many parents face in regard to raising African American children, especial males. But as I continue to say, discussions are great, but action is always better.
April 20, 2016
March 30, 2016
January 21, 2016