ARP Links: New Resource

Am I the only one who wasn’t familiar with the Web site FamilyEducation.com? I surfed over there yesterday to find this brief primer on “Raising Children Free of Prejudice” by Alvin Poussaint, M.D. and Susan Linn, Ed.D.

Children don’t come pre-equipped with reactions to each new experience in their lives. For instance, all young children instinctively put things they want to explore into their mouths. But an Inuit child of the Arctic who put a grub into his or her mouth would learn from a pleased parent that grubs are a delicious springtime snack. A suburban American child learns from a horrified parent that grubs are too disgusting to be touched, let alone eaten. Now, do you often feel that you need to learn how to eat unusual insects in this country? Probably not. But we do need to understand our own learned prejudices about people in order to avoid teaching them to our children. We need to make sure that we are showing our children the most positive ways to interact with the world in which they live. Read more…

The site also includes a section devoted to Black History Month with age-appropriate activities and lessons. I was also gratified to see an explanation of why a mere month devoted to contributions of African Americans is not sufficient:

Sharon Pineault-Burke, coordinator of a recent series of professional development institutes called Teaching African American Literature: From Phillis Wheatley to Toni Morrison, says that one month of Black history is hardly enough. “When you teach it for only one month out of the year, you just can’t give full treatment.”

By integrating Black history into “traditional” U.S. history, students get the bigger picture. For instance, they are more likely to learn about how African Americans contributed to American efforts in World War II, and how they were organized in segregated battalions, and how African languages influenced white southern speech, and not just the other way around. This means that as students learn “traditional” history, they get a more complete story–a better sense of what a historical period was really like. Read more…

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About Tami

Tami Winfrey Harris writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Ms. Magazine blog, Newsweek, Change.org, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She is mom to two awesome stepkids and spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous 'fro.
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