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Raising Children of Color in a Race Conscious World

Highlights from January 13, 2010 Creating a Family radio show

imchocolateyourevanillaHow can white parents raise children of color in this race conscious world? Our guest to talk about this topic was Marguerite Wright, psychologist for the Center for the Vulnerable Child at Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland, and author of I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World.

 

  • What can parents do to equip their children for institutionalized racism and overt racism? How can white parents best prepare their adopted black and brown children to face our race conscious society?
  • Dr. Wright recommends protecting children from racism for as long as possible. How can parents best do that.
  • Parents and others often overreact to statements made by pre-schoolers about race. How do young children perceive race and skin color? When do children become aware of the importance of race?
  • What should adoptive parents of African or African American children do to handle family members that make racist statements periodically without even being aware that their comments are racist?
  • What is the best way to handle racist comments made by strangers in the presence of our children?
  • White parents adopting from Ethiopia, adopting from Africa, adopting African American children in the US, adopting from China, adopting from Korea, adopting from Guatemala, adopting from Colombia, adopting from Mexico all face the challenge of preparing their children without having themselves experienced being black or brown in a majority white culture.
  • How important is it to live in a diverse environment when all your extended family lives in a predominately white part of the country?
  • What are the special challenges of raising a biracial child? Should parents of black-white biracial children stress the white and black cultures equally, or give more emphasis to preparing their children to be a member of a racial minority?
  • Should a black child be given a white baby doll? What should adoptive parents do if their African American child is given a white doll or wants a white doll?
  • What are the three most toxic things our society does to African American, Asian and Latino children?
  • How hard should parents push cultural identity for adopted kids if they resent going to culture camp, language schools, cultural dance classes, etc?
  • How can white adoptive parents prepare very dark children with nappy hair for the prejudice they may experience in the African American community?
  • How can Caucasian adoptive parents prepare darker Chinese, Korean or Vietnamese children for the prejudice they may experience from the Asian American community?
  • How to handle the time and stress of African American hair care with our adopted daughters?
  • What would Dr. Wright recommend if a parent has to decide between sending their black, Latino, and Chinese adopted child to a racial diverse school or academically strenuous or academically better school?

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