Recommendations from Grace Wingfield:
For children and adults:
Inform and educate on the source of what we see our country, finally acknowledging more comprehensively, systemic racism. First, it is imortant to understand the history and origins of racism and racial injustice in the U.S. Most importantly is understanding that racism was created to justify slavery for economic purposes and is not scientific. Race did not exist scientifically and then was utilized in horrific ways. Often this is the story told. These are a few good resources:
* The documentary 13th
. It is free on YouTube and on Netflix. There is some cursing and graphic pictures. If you have not seen this, I would watch it yourself first. Be sure to watch it with your grandchildren. It is too important to not watch. Our Middle School students have viewed this, and I emailed a Lower School instructor to ask if 9 years old is an appropriate age (not my area of expertise). He said definitely if watched with adults. This is a cliffnotes version of 13th.
A TED talk by Megan Ming Frances, "Let's get to the Root of Racial Injustice."
This is a good video about getting to the source and acknowledging systemic racism. Remember that in history class, the story of slavery and racism is often covered in a neat tidy three-day package which ends with Martin Luther King's march, and then the false conclusion that everything is fine now.
* RACE - the Power of an Illusion
. This is a four part PBS series. If there is interest in learning more, this is a scientific and sociologic set of videos that can be purchased for $5.
* Here is a recent talk
about talking to kids about race. I have followed and admired Rosetta Lee for awhile. She is great and is part of this talk.
I think it is important to name and learn more about microaggressions.
Here is the definition by Derald Wing-Sue:
: everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.
I am certain they have already heard microaggressions directed to them or at least in media. It is important to understand and learn more about microaggressions in order to recognize and dismantle, to maintain strong self-confidence and self-love for who we are. Even for adults, it is difficult to process microaggressions because they are not overt, so a lot of questioning of oneself occurs. There is a feeling of discomfort or upset, but it is often hard to articulate and point to because of the fact that they are often veiled as a positive comment, or even thought of that way by the person saying it. Even a comment like, "Your hair looks really pretty" stated to a black girl on a day when it is styled differently is difficult to process. Some thoughts that come up for the listener:
"They notice my hair as different than theirs. I knew it."
"I am glad I did this to conform."
"I wish I did not do this to conform."
"Others have different styles too, why are they commenting to me?"
"Wait, they are saying something nice."
Wrestling with all of this or having it all bottled up inside can really eat away at our self-confidence and self-assurance.
These are two quick videos about microaggressions.
Dr. Derald Wing Sue - Microaggressions in his own words
Look Different | "Your English is so good." | MTV
This is a microaggresion activity I used in class from breakingprejudice.org
Other thing I would encourage is pointing out black inventors and history:
Lewis Howard Latimer biography
. Lewis Howard Latimer was an inventor and draftsman best known for his contributions to the patenting of the light bulb and the telephone.
Carbon Light Bulb Filament, Invented by Lewis Latimer in 1881
The Accidental Invention of the Super Soaker