Tuesday, June 2, 2020

10 Anti-Racism Children's Picture Books

The past few weeks have been a constant cycle of grief, anger, frustration, and stress. George Floyd's murder and all that has transpired since is weighing heavily on our hearts and minds. During one particularly difficult day, when I felt beyond helpless and anxious, I walked into my son's room and saw a book on his bedroom floor. He'd been reading The Undefeated, a children's book about incredible Black people who shaped history and present.

This gave me the idea to share with you some of our favorite anti-racism children's picture books, because times like these can often leave parents feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about what to do. How much is too much? What if we don't say enough? What if we say the wrong things? 

Please, please choose to do take action. Choose to lean in and listen, learn, and change. Empathize. And most of all, grow. Prepare your children for the realities they will face. If they are a child of color, this means one thing. If they are white, that means another. I strongly believe that ALL children deserve parents who will teach them what anti-racism is.

I want to suggest to you that books shouldn't be the ONLY tool you use to teach your kids about anti-racism. I believe in-person relationships and conversations are the best of the best. However, books are powerful, helpful tools that are readily available in your home.

Parents, if you're raising white children, they need these books, too. After all, racism didn't invent itself. It has a long, violent history, started by white people and continued by white people. Parents should get educated themselves on what anti-racism is and how to be part of it, and then they need to educate their children. I offer anti-racism book suggestions for adults here.

Note that none of these books actually have "anti-racism" in the title. This is a word you need to discuss with your children. Despite the titles here not explicitly stating "anti-racism" they are books that teach facets of anti-racism that are critical to kids (and parents) understanding why it's so important and necessary. 

If you'd like to learn more about the books I'm sharing here, click or tap on the book image. You can then read the book description, reviews, take a peek inside some of them, and purchase if you wish.

I'm thankful for your readership and that you are doing things in your home that matter and will have a forever-impact on your children. Please join me on Facebook and Instagram for powerful discussions on race, adoption, and motherhood.

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The first time my son was called a “thug” was when he was a toddler. At two, he was in diapers and learning to string words together. He was a happy baby. Affectionate. It didn’t matter how wonderful he was. It didn’t matter that he had white parents, either—our #whiteprivilege didn’t extend to him. It didn’t matter that he was so young. The world swiftly stereotyped him, labeling him as criminal, suspicious, dangerous. 🖤 It’s heavy days like these that make me want to put my son in a protective bubble. There’s fear, anger, restlessness. Choosing empathy for #ahmaudarbery ‘s grieving mother means choosing to acknowledge that not all children are safe. Melanin is a perceived threat, and it has been for hundreds of years. 🖤 We struggle to balance teaching our children the reality, preparing them, and letting them be kids. It feels impossible, because even in preparing, we know that only so much in is their/our control. One way (of many) we teach our children is through books. Books that affirm, that tell truth, that educate. Books that speak to their blackness. 🖤 I think the #1 best resource is real life racial mirrors. There’s a reason my son lights up when he sees his barber, his pastor, his cousin. Seeing his melanin reflected back in bigger, stronger, smarter, funnier men is magical. Irreplaceable. Invaluable. 🖤 I’m doing a lot of reflection right now. The weight of the news is suffocating. Many parents and children have known these injustices their whole lives. My husband and I are still learning and evolving. We’re leaning heavily on those who share our children’s race, who have experience and wisdom, to guide us. 🖤 I am thankful for the Black men and women who choose to pour into our children. . #blacklivesmatter #blackchildren #blackchildrensbooks #blackchild #blackchildrenmatter #multiracialfamily #transracialadoption #blackboy #blackboyjoy #whitesugarbrownsugar #mothersdayweekend #saturdayvibes
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