Here at Parents, we believe change starts with us. Our children are always listening, always learning, and it's our job to raise them to see the world as the wonderfully diverse place it is so they can make it even better. We also believe that educating ourselves and our children is best done together, which is why we're excited to announce a new way for us to learn: Parents' new Raising the Future Book Club.
Each month, we'll feature new books and introduce you to authors so you can learn more about their experience writing their books (and their experiences parenting). Raising the Future Book Club picks will include titles for kids and adults to read together, focusing on topics that shape our world and expand our worldview.
“If we want the world to change—and our children to be the changemakers—we must embrace stories from more than one point of view,” Parents editor-in-chief Julia Edelstein wrote recently.
We hope you'll read along with us.
Written by Ibram X. Kendi, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky
How do you talk about racism with a toddler? This rhyming book gives you a jumping-off point. While its nine steps to “make equity a reality” speak primarily to parents, the bright illustrations—friends of all races playing together, families snuggling with their babies—will engage little ones. As your child gets older, you can continue the conversation. Available as both a board book and picture book. Ages 2+
Author Ibram X. Kendi, Ph.D. suggests these thought starters:
1. Is it kind to talk about someone’s race?
Teach your child that being kind doesn’t mean we avoid seeing race; we celebrate racial differences.
2. When you imagine a teacher, an astronaut, or a farmer, what do they look like?
You might find that your child defaults to a white person in their imagination. Explain that people from all races hold these jobs and others. Start filling your home library with diverse books that show a full range of experiences within and across racial groups.
3. What do your friends look like?
Help your child explicitly name the races of the people around them so they understand that it’s not taboo. This will help normalize discussions about race and remove the stigma around these conversations.
4. Are all people treated the same?
Give your child an example of how racist behavior doesn’t always look like being intentionally “mean” to someone. It can be more subtle like when a non-Black person crosses the street to avoid encountering black teens. Understanding racism is the first step to help changing it.
Ibram X. Kendi is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News correspondent. He is the author of five books including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction; How to Be an Antiracist; Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, co-authored with Jason Reynolds; and Antiracist Baby, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky. He lives in Boston with his wife, a pediatric emergency medicine specialist, and their 4-year-old daughter.
Dr. Kendi will read the book and answer questions on Parents Instagram Live on Friday, August 7, at 3 P.M. (ET).