Watch the film
Watch the film

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

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.

A NEW TALK

How to start

We can raise an anti-racist generation. Talk to your children about racism early and often. These discussion can be harder after a racial event but tips from our partner WE ARE can help get the discussion started.
  • Take Inventory of Your Own Biases

    It starts with us. It is important to identify our biases and work to correct how they might influence our perceptions of the world and how they shape our decisions and actions. Leverage this awareness.
  • Help your child accept discomfort and uncertainty.

    Be prepared for these conversations to potentially be messy and complicated. They may not end as you expect they will. Ask your child to share when they experience discomfort and work through those emotions together.
  • Explicitly name race in the conversation.

    Let children know that noticing differences does not promote bias—judging and discriminating based on race does. Further, acknowledge that white is a racial identity and explore what it means to be white.
  • Provide opportunities to learn about others and foster empathy.

    Use children’s books, short videos, movies, literature, or stories to expose children to diverse voices and perspectives on race. Support white children in better understanding others’ experiences and perspectives.

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