A few weeks ago, we reported on research showing that children become aware of race at a very young age, and they seem particularly prone to developing stereotypes. The message from that research is simple enough: If parents don’t want their kids to develop racial biases, they need to talk to their kids about race.
To quickly review: the reason parents need to talk to kids about race is that if they don’t talk to them about race, kids will come up with their own ideas. Those ideas will usually be wrong, sometimes be harmful and occasionally, they’ll be ridiculous.
Cherée Thomas has a story about that.
"Many years ago, my son was in a classroom and a kid licked his hand because he thought he was chocolate," Thomas says.
As part of her documentary on race, Jennifer Guerra spoke with kids---of all races---about how race shapes their lives in school, in their neighborhood, and among their peers. Tune in on Thursday at 3pm, and again at 10pm, to hear what kids, teachers and parents have to say on the topic. And in the meantime, check out this story from NPR's Arts Desk on how kids are using "yo" as a gender-neutral pronoun. Linguistic innovation coming from a teen near you!
The Code Switch team loves thinking, talking and hearing about language and linguistics - see our launch essay, "When Our Kids Own America," and "How Code-Switching Explains The World." So we wanted to share this report from NPR's Arts Desk that's about the use of "yo" as a gender-neutral pronoun.
The wealth gap was bad before the recession, but now it's even worse. A new study by the Urban Institute shows that, on average, non-Hispanic white families "were about four times as wealthy as nonwhite families, according to the Urban Institute’s analysis of Federal Reserve data. By 2010, whites were about six times as wealthy." Experts say the continued and growing wealth gap will make it that much harder for future generations of American minorities to advance and prosper. A disturbing thought when you consider the country is moving closer and closer to a majority minority.
WASHINGTON - Millions of Americans suffered a loss of wealth during the recession and the sluggish recovery that followed. But the last half-decade has proved far worse for black and Hispanic families than for white families, starkly widening the already large gulf in wealth between white Americans and most minority groups, according to a new study from the Urban Institute.
Next week Thursday at 3pm, and again at 10pm, State of Opportunity's Jennifer Guerra presents a special hour-long documentary on race, education, and opportunity in Michigan.
While some might say we're "burned out" with talk about race and racism, it remains a timely topic in so many ways. Before we bring it home with Jen's doc on race and Michigan kids, just a wide-ranging look at how race appears in the media last two weeks:
As I was working on yesterday's story about charter schools, I came across a problem that must be frustrating for many parents: It is incredibly difficult to find the right information to compare schools in Michigan. The information is all out there. It's just really hard to put it together in a way that makes sense.
The first problem is figuring out where to look. So, here are five resources to help start the search:
I spend a lot of my time, as many journalists do, trying to convince people to share their experiences and stories. Sometimes it takes a lot of work.
Most of my persuasive skills have to be channeled into convincing people they have a story worth telling, that their experiences matters. It does matter. The telling of every day experiences informs and connects people. Reporters can put connective tissue made up of context and background around these experiences and out comes a news story.
I put a call out a few months ago for poems by students that somehow tied back to the issue of race and culture. The kind folks at InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit, an organization that brings creative writing into Detroit Public Schools, sent me a number of relevant poems by youth from the area.
We would love to read more poems about race and culture. If you think you've got a poem that fits, send it our way! Meantime, here are some poems we'd like to share with you.
In Southwest Detroit Life grows best on the roofs of abandoned buildings. Outsiders look at the graffiti juxtaposed against islands of grass but don't understand that art and science create wonders.
When I moved near Vernor St. it took me a while to blend in with the community. Like oil paint submerged in water, I always stood out. Maybe I never understood the environment. Learning the culture was like trying to decode the meaning of a Van Gogh painting, except my neighborhood was more like a mosaic of different backgrounds glued together by struggle, to prove that those abandoned buildings aren't abandoned.
Sarah Harkness and Charles Super, researchers in human development, found that, according to The Atlantic, "Not only are Americans far more likely to focus on their children's intelligence and cognitive skills, they are also far less likely to describe them as 'happy' or 'easy' children to parent." Harkness called this focus nearly obsessive in that it ignores other aspects of early childhood development.