Books Race & Racism

Resources for Conversations about Race

With Black History Month upon us, I thought I’d put together some more ideas for families, educators and social justice activists interested in addressing race, slavery and anti-blackness with young children. Stay tuned for more posts in this series and feel free to write me a question in the comments. I may choose to write about it in a future post!

Resources for Conversations about Race with Young Kids

I am constantly on the lookout for new ways to talk about race and identity in developmentally appropriate ways, especially with very young kids. As examples like Scholastics recent recall of A Birthday Cake for George Washington show, it’s important that in trying to protect young children from upsetting truths about slavery, we don’t go to the other extreme by sugar-coating or avoiding important realities of race in America. Below I’ve put together tried and true resources (Yes! I REALLY, I tried them) based on my experiences as a mom talking about race with my own kids:


Three Simple Ways to Address Skin Color Bias with Kids

How do you prevent your child from internalizing the racist messages that are so prevalent in our society? Here are three simple ways…



What Color Crayons are in Your Coloring Box?

The simple act of talking about skin color, may seem superficial. Nonetheless, it can be an important first step in talking about race with very young children and is surprisingly absent from many (white) parents conversations with their kids. Here are some tips and tried and true strategies to help very young children begin healthy conversations about race.


Colors of Us

Books that Get the Conversation Started

This is a list of my favorite (little kid tested) books for kids ages 3-7 to start conversations about race.

diversity gap

Diversify your Bookshelves

When your child is little, you can do a lot to ensure he or she is exposed to diverse perspectives of ALL ethnic groups, by actively seeking out literature that reflects the diversity of our city, country and world. Find out how diverse your home or classroom library is using this helpful Diverse Library Inventory

You can also check out my Pinterest Boards for some great recommendations of diverse books at all levels. You can also check out offerings by book publishers like Lee and Low Books, a publisher dedicated to publishing diverse stories that all children can enjoy. Or, check out other book lists in this series.

Follow Alison Collins’s board heroines of color on Pinterest.

You can also check out this list of more than 50 books put together by Teaching for Tolerance for elementary, middle, and high school aged children is a great start for talking about slavery and resistance with children. Remember, this list is broad, so many of the books may not be appropriate for very young children.

What other resources do you know about to talk about race with young children in positive ways? Please share in the comments below!

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