written by editor Tami Winfrey Harris
I shared in my review of bell hooks’ “Happy to be Nappy” that I would love to offer a regular column on ARP that reviews valuable resources for antiracist parenting: books, Web sites, films, games, workshops, etc. I’m doing research, but I need to hear from you, too. I know many of you have arsenals of stuff you use to encourage your children to acknowlege and value diversity.
Now, a fellow reader needs your help, too. Deanna writes:
[I am looking for resources] for the new Intercultural Resource Committee I’ve volunteered to start at my son Lucca’s (he just finished 1st grade) school. I met with the Local School Council and have gotten “institutional green light” to move ahead. The idea is to come up with curriculum, links, etc. to build multicultural perspectives in the classroom (It bothered me in one book report when Lucca had to evaluate the two main characters in what was considered by all to be an innocuous story, and his columns listed “Blonde, Pretty, and Good” versus “Dark, Ugly, and Bad.” ) Initially we have been directed to take a look at the Illinois State Standards and look at how to incorporate multi-cultural/multi-racial perspectives to support state standards…to support what teachers are doing. The thought is that if it is “outside” of the standards, teachers will be less motivated to include it. We also have an opportunity to do a teacher ‘in-service’ in the fall. I would imagine sending home tips for parents, reading lists, etc. throughout the year for parents as well. The approach I think we are taking now is, for example, making sure that if the topic is American literature/poetry that it might include Eugene Field, Gwendolyn Brooks, Khalil Gibran, etc. or that a unit on space travel would include Neil Armstrong, Nellie Ochoa, and Mae Jemison (etc.-e.g. trying to include all contributions in a particular subject area-please note order of names is not intended to be hierarchical-I’m just thinking in order of what I learned in school to what was not included…). The plan is to make these resources available to parents online as well, beginning at my blog, Intercultural Talk.
Help Deanna and me out by sharing information on great resources you have found. Discuss your antiracist parenting tools in this thread or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.