Author Archives: Dawn Friedman

Back to (home) school

[This month on ARP, we're exploring the intersection of race and education. Below is the next installment of the series.] written by Anti-Racist Parent columnist Dawn Friedman We’re homeschoolers and have been since our son Noah left preschool seven years … Continue reading

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Pa in Blackface: Confronting racism in our children’s books

written by Anti-Racist Parenting columnist Dawn Friedman I’m a fan of the Little House books and have been since my mom gave me the yellow cardboard box set when I was seven so I was thrilled when my friend set … Continue reading

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Half-price adoptions: Should we tell our kids?

by Anti-Racist Parent columnist Dawn Friedman When we decided to pursue a domestic adoption nearly five years ago, my husband and I – both of us white – decided that we were open to adopting transracially. We were naïve about … Continue reading

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Religion and culture in an interfaith, transracial family

by Anti-Racist Parent columnist Dawn Friedman We are a transracial family. My husband, my son and myself are white. Our daughter is African-American and joined our family through an open, domestic adoption three years ago. Both my kids are being … Continue reading

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Having a multicultural doll ghetto is not enough

by Anti-Racist Parent columnist Dawn Friedman Recently I wrote on my blog about trying to find an African American Polly Pocket for my 3-year old daughter. My efforts were only slightly successful – I did find a brown-skinned Polly, kind … Continue reading

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Book Censorship: What’s an Anti-Racist Parent to Do?

by Anti-Racist Parent columnist Dawn Friedman By now you may have read the article about Tintin in the Congo – the racist children’s book that’s being shelved in the (adult) graphic novel section after a lawyer registered a complaint saying, … Continue reading

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How do other -isms intersect with racism?

by Anti-Racist Parent columnist Dawn Friedman Before I had my kids I worked for a feminist organization that had the elimination of racism written into their institutional purpose. The YWCA’s mission statement ends with this line: The YWCA will thrust … Continue reading

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Should adoptive parents change their children’s names?

by Anti-Racist Parent columnist Dawn Friedman I was stuck on what to write this week but Carmen shared a list of some of the keywords people use to find their way here and there was one that stuck out to … Continue reading

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Just For Me Texture Softener targets white parents of black and multiracial girls

by Anti-Racist Parent columnist Dawn Friedman One of the first things I learned when my husband and I, both white people, began to explore adopting a child of African descent is that there would be a major curve for us … Continue reading

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Books featuring children of color where race is not the point of the story

by Anti-Racist Parent columnist Dawn Friedman

Imagine if all the books about girls were about sexism. Imagine if female characters were generally there to give the reader a history lesson about suffragettes or a cultural critique about rape. What would that do to a little girl? To only see herself against the backdrop of oppression? What would that do to a little boy? To only see women in the context of the oppressed? Fortunately there are lots of interesting female role models to keep both boys and girls reading – girls like Ramona, Nancy Drew and Anastasia Krupnik – but imagine if there weren’t.

Now think about kids’ chapter books where the main character isn’t white. Think hard. Is there a black Ramona or an Asian Nancy Drew or a Latina Anastasia?

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find books about children of color that don’t make the kids’ color the point of the story. There just aren’t enough books about everyday kids doing everyday things where the kids happen to be African American or Chinese-American or Native American or Hispanic, etc. etc. There are many fine, laudable books (and many absolutely awful ones) about slavery and Civil Rights and the Japanese internment camps and migrant farm workers from Mexico but the ordinary kid? The one who is riding her bike or fighting with his little sister? That’s a lot tougher. Continue reading

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Calling anti-racist white parents of white kids!

by Anti-Racist Parent columnist Dawn Friedman I was looking at the archives of the gratuitous cute kid pics, (which really are pretty darn cute) and I was wondering where are the cute kids from white families? From looking at the … Continue reading

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Columnist Intro – Dawn

by Anti-Racist Parent columnist Dawn Friedman When I was pregnant with my son my husband and I had no idea if we were expecting a boy or a girl. Our doctor didn’t do routine ultrasounds and when my husband asked, … Continue reading

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