Congratulations, you made it to June, the 6th level of Jumanji! I saw a meme with this caption and thought, yeup, good way to describe this year! 2020 has been trying to say the least! With everything going on in our various communities, some of us have a lot of questions especially as it concerns the death of George Floyd. There might be questions regarding this tragedy and how it exposes some deep seethed anger, racism and racial discrimination that has been experienced by the black community across the nation.
One of those questions might be, just how do we educate our kids about race, and black history? How do we teach them to embrace diversity so we can help raise a generation that does not allow a tragedy like this ever repeat itself? How do we raise informed kids who see color, and embrace the many complexities of each race without discrimination or prejudice?
The truth is that, contrary to what some well intentioned people might think, embracing diversity is not limited to a multiracial friend circle. It includes learning about interracial relations, about privileges and the history of each culture that affects the way minority groups perceive themselves and the way that they are perceived. It is also being able to, if not understand, then perhaps recognize and empathize with the problems facing each minority group, especially as it concerns their race or skin color. Only then can we truly as Americans, fully embrace the diversity of people and beliefs that exists in our great nation. And this starts with educating not just ourselves, but our children.
We don’t purport to say that there is one right way to teach our children about diversity. But we can propose a starting point when it comes to what we feed their minds and even our minds. This includes making a conscious decision at every point to support diversity even in the little things like buying books written by black authors, reading up on different civil rights movements, buying books with main character who are diverse. All of this with the goal to learn about each minority group, to not look to save them, judge them, justify our preconceived notions of them or condemn them. The goal should be to truly listen, understand, and empathize and go even as far as to ally with minority groups.
Today, we are going to start with our BOOKS!
I recently stumbled on a book list made by The Mom Trotter . She put together a great list of children’s books that can help our little boss babies understand and embrace diversity from an early age. From that list, we at Elisamama, created our starter kit for each age group, starting with Pre-K. They are fun reads for our boss babies, and hopefully a positive step in raising informed children who embrace diversity. We hope you enjoy them.
- All Kinds of People. By Shelley Rotner
- A Rainbow of Friends. By P.K. Hallinan
- Woke Baby. By Mahogany L Browne
- Little Feminist. by Mudpuppy
- Babies Around the World: Dancing. By Tamara Barker
- A is for Awesome! 23 Iconic women who changed the world. By Eva Chen
- It's OK to be Different: A Children's Picture Book About Diversity and Kindness. By Sharon Purtill
- Mommy and Me Don't Match. By K Monsma
- Thread of Love. By Kabir Sehgal
God Made Me and You. By Shai Linne and Trish Mahoney
While this list has great choices, these are only a few of the plethora of options out there. The object of this series and list is largely for us to be intentional in our book selections and in curating the messages we would like to instill into our little boss babies. In the next edition of our Diversity Starter Kit Series, we will be sharing books for our Elementary school-age kiddos! Stay tuned!