What is the talk?
“The Talk” is a series of conversations Black parents must have with their children about the challenges and dangers they will face due to racism. These talks have been happening for generations and have become an unfortunate and necessary rite of passage for Black children as they learn to navigate the societal disadvantages associated with being Black in this society. For Black children, these talks are perspective-altering, psychologically challenging and emotionally-damaging.
Here are some examples of parents talking to their children about race 1
Dear Child – When Black Parents Have To Give “The Talk”
Black mother shares how she talks to children about racism
Source: News Centre MaineWatch
A NEW TALK
For white parents, the motivations to talk about racism are different and/or may not exist at all. In societies designed to value, protect, and promote whiteness as the preferred norm, talking about racism may seem unnecessary. As our expert says, “when you aren’t the target of the racism, it is difficult to see, but that doesn’t mean it is not happening.” This can be deceiving, leading some White families to believe that racism is not a real problem.
Teaching children that treating everyone the same is not enough to combat racism. To change the 400-year-old trajectory of racism, White parents and families must work alongside Black families and other advocates for racial equity to create a new reality around race. Teaching White children to recognize and resist systems of race-based advantage and disadvantage is a good place to start.