Children hear more than we think. They have more question than we assume. We have already gone through events that triggered conversations about gender equality, climate change, or refugees and wars. Now is the time to explain to them what racism is all about, and what white privilege is. In other words, it is time to talk about Black Lives Matter. Yes, even in Switzerland.
Yes, especially in Geneva – a small yet international city of world-over importance. Home to numerous international organizations and hundreds of NGOs. We live in one of those places on the world’s map that should shine as an example.
To build a better world, we need a better-educated youth. For the world to change, we need more people who are not only non-racist but also anti-racist. No child is too young to learn about racial injustice.
Below you will find links to articles, movies, and books. Take your time to go through it. Save this article and come back from time to time to find new materials. I’m also available via email and social media if you’d like to discuss educating kids on anti-racism in private.
“Saturday“, by Oge Mora.
“Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race“, by Margot Lee Shetterly & Winifred Conkling.
“Ruby. Head High: Ruby Bridges’ First Day of School“, by Irene Cohen-Janca.
“Rosa Parks“, by Lisbeth Kaiser and Marta Antelo.
“The Other Side“, by Jacqueline Woodson.
“Sulwe“, by Lupita Nyong’o.
“The Bell Rang“, by James E. Ransome.
“The Colors of Us“, by Karen Katz.
“The Day You Begin”, by Jacqueline Woodson.
“Des amis de toutes les couleurs”, by Catherine Dolto.
“Comme un million de papillons noirs“, byLaura Nsafou.
“Josephine Baker“, by Isabel Sanchez Vegara.
“Ruby tête haute“, by Irene Cohen-Janca.
“Quelle est ma couleur ?“, by Antoine Guillopé.
“Horacio ne veut plus aller à l’école“, by Thierry Magnier.
“Peau noire peau blanche“, by Yves Bichet.
“Yozakura la fille du cerisier“, by Mureil Daillo.
“Le bus de Rosa“, by Fabrizio Silei.
“Main blanche main noire“, by Jacqueline Favreau.
“Rêve noir d’un lapin blanc“, by Maria Machado.
“Tichéri a les cheveux crépus” is a book for children from 6 to 12 years old. It was written by Licia Chery, an Genevan artist of Haitan origin. It is a brilliant book against racism and prejudice.
Embrace Race put together a list of their favorite places to get books that talk about race. It even includes picture books. “Looking for Excellent “Diverse” Books for Children? Start Here!”.
Here’s another excellent list from the New York Times: “These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protest to Your Kids“.
The Guardian has also recently published a selection of children’s books “No reader is too young to start: anti-racist books for all children and teens“.
MOVIES AND SERIES
Apart from “The Princess and the Frog” and “Moana”, do you know any movies featuring a main black character? There is also Kirikou, but it’s not that popular (although it is really good!). I swear I digged a lot but couldn’t find much.
The Voice of Black Cincinnati compiled a very resourcful list. Not all the movies they mention are on Netflix outside the US, but they can be found elsewhere. Read it here: “Best Black Kids Movies on Netflix“.
There is also this great website with 26 New York Times mini-films for students.
One of the places you can visit online for multiple resources is the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Their website offers separate advise for teachers and parents, including tips on how to talk to children about race. They explain in detail many terms we hear often now, but we may not truly understand.
Multicultural Kid Blogs has compiled an impressive list of resources for teachers and parents. Subscribe to their newsletter, or follow MKB on social media, to have an easier access to all the articles they will be posting on that topic in the future.
You may have seen this link on social media, as it has been widely shared. The vast majority of materials shared in this Google file is for adults, but there is also a section for white parents to raise anti-racist children, that offers links to books, movies, and podcasts.
To teach children well, we must first learn a bit ourselves. It will also help answer the questions children will surely have. Nowadays, it gets just logging to any social media, to be faced with many resources, quotes, discussions, from which we can learn a lot. Don’t hesitate to ask your black friends to explain you the white privelege and racial injustice.
This book list from Time.com mentions many good titles. Chcek it out here: “Several Antiracist Books Are Selling Out. Here’s What Else Black Booksellers and Publishers Say You Should Read”.
Becoming, a Netflix documentary following Michelle Obama on her book tour
Dear White People, a Netflix series about being black at a predominantly white college
Hidden Figures, a film about the brilliant African American women of NASA
Remember the Titans, story of a newly-integrated football team