Tools for Discussing Race

The vision of the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is a world in which each and every child develops curiosity, confidence and self-worth. This vision drives everything we do and is the motivation behind our commitment to equity, access and inclusion.

“Each and every” is the intentional and very central part of our vision and speaks to our belief that children of all races, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, and abilities deserve unencumbered access to tools and learning experiences that will help them grow into caring, productive, and fulfilled adults.

We invite you to join us in a collective journey of deepening our understanding about race, equality, access and inclusion, and we are pleased to offer this page to share resources we have found useful in helping us further explore these complex and important issues.

 

Resources for Parents

Talking About Race.  Designed by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, this website provides tools and guidance for educators, parents and caregivers in talking about race, oppression, identity, bias and community-building.

Anti-Racism for Kids: an Age by Age Guide to Fighting Hate. Parents (June 2020)

How to talk with your kids about racism and racialized violence.  Article by Allison Briscoe-Smith, Ph.D. on Common Sense Media (June 2020)

Talking to Children About Racism:  The Time is Now.  Article by Nia Heard-Garris MD, MSc, FAAP & Jacqueline Dougé, MD, MPH, FAAP​ on HealthyChildren.org (June 2020)

Helping Kids Process Violence, Trauma and Race in a World of Nonstop News. Child development, children’s health, and trauma-care experts talk about ways families can support their children, one another, and a just future (June 2020)

I [STILL] can’t breathe: Supporting kids of color amid racialized violence.  Webinar from EmbraceRace (June, 2020) With COVID-19 as backdrop, some predict a “long, hot summer.” Others see a promising new determination by many Whites to become a vigorous part of the solution. In this complicated context, what conversations about policing, violence, safety, justice, and race should we be having with our children of color? We talk with child psychologist Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith. 

How White Parents Can use Media to Raise Anti-Racist KidsMovies, TV, and books can be powerful teaching tools when it comes to helping kids understand race, racism, and a history of racial oppression. By Sierra Filucci on Common Sense Media (May 2020)

10 Books White People Should Read: Books for Anti-Racism Work. Megan Forbes on YouTube at Too Cool for Middle School (May 2020)

How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time.  TED Talk by writer and activist Baratunde Thurston (2019)

Supporting Kids of Color in the Wake of Racialized Violence: Part One.  Webinar from EmbraceRace (2016). For this conversation, EmbraceRace co-founders Andrew Grant-Thomas and Melissa Giraud frame and moderate a discussion between child psychologist Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith, educator Dr. Sandra “Chap” Chapman, and a group of parents, teachers, and other caregivers concerned about black and brown children. 

Supporting Kids of Color in the Wake of Racialized Violence: Part Two.  Webinar from EmbraceRace (2016) EmbraceRace co-founders, Andrew Grant-Thomas and Melissa Giraud, brought questions submitted by you all — the EmbraceRace community — to child psychologist Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith and educator Dr. Sandra “Chap” Chapman. 

Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture.  Anderson Cooper Special Report on CNN (April 2012)

Black Parents Explain How to Deal with the Police.  Video (February 2007)

 

For Kids and Families

Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism. Video of the CNN / Sesame Street town hall for kids and families (June 2020)

Same Difference. Children’s Book Story by Calida Rawles (2010)

Sesame Street:  Whoopi’s Skin and Elmo’s Fur.  (2009)

 

Suggested Reading – Books and Stories to Share with Children

13 Children’s Books About Race and Diversity. PBS KIDS for Parents (June 2020)

Juneteenth: 25 Books for Kids and Adults to Celebrate Juneteenth and Reflect on History or Slavery.  USA Today (June 2020)

Books about Racism and Social Justice. These books tell stories of people’s experiences of racism and of those who put their bodies on the line for the cause of equality under the law and social justice. Listing by age level. Compiled by Common Sense Media.

Books about Civil Rights.  The civil rights era comes alive in these excellent, informative books for kids of all ages. From beautifully illustrated picture books to memoirs that depict the Jim Crow South to biographies of heroes of the civil rights movement, these books show what life was like before civil rights, why individuals put their lives on the line for equal justice and opportunity, and how there’s still more work to be done.  Listing by age level.  Compiled by Common Sense Media.

Books that Promote Tolerance and Diversity.  Books have a way of sparking empathy, drawing readers into the lives of characters who may be different from themselves — or different from other characters in the story. It’s a diverse world, and these books reflect the view that we’re all in it together. Listing by age level.  Compiled by Common Sense Media.

 

Media

Great African America Movies.  Teens and parents will find much to appreciate in these films that bring to life the experiences of the past that have shaped us all — from the Civil War to civil rights.  Compiled by Common Sense Media.

TV Shows with Diverse Characters.  Television hasn’t always been known for its commitment to diversity. But that’s changing fast, with some of primetime’s most popular shows featuring African American, Latinx, and Asian families, and cable offering a wide variety of cultures to explore. Listing by age level.  Compiled by Common Sense Media.

Movies with Inspiring Role Models for African American Girls.  Some of these top-rated titles might need more parental input when tough topics such as racism and slavery come up. However, these movies ultimately provide girls with messages of strength and perseverance. Listing by age level.  Compiled by Common Sense Media.

Where Kids Find Hate OnlineHelp kids recognize and reject racist, sexist, homophobic, and religion-based hate content. By Caroline Knorr (August 2019)

 

Apps and Games

Apps and Games with Diverse Characters.  These apps and games help kids experience a variety of diverse characters and perspectives. Kids can choose from multicultural avatars, get to know families unlike their own, or explore different parts of the world through gameplay and learning apps. These games are available on a wide variety of platforms and devices, so there’s something for all kinds of gamers.

 

Historical Reflections and Commentary on Race and Racism

The Story of Juneteenth.  National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. (2020)

Fred Rogers Took a Stand Against Racial Inequality When He Invited a Black Character to Join Him in a Pool.  In Biography (2019)

Toni Morrison’s powerful words on racism. Compiled by the Guardian (2019)

Colin Kaepernick protests anthem over treatment of minorities. The Undefeated (2016)

The Anti-Racism Experiment that Transformed an Oprah Show Audience.  On OWN (2015)

Barrack Obama’s Speech on Racism.  New York Times (2008)

I have a Dream. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963)