Talking Race with a Toddler who wasn’t Talking about Race at All

Tamika Thompson’s recent New York Times article highlights the importance of discerning exactly what our children, big and small, are really talking about.  While playing with her dolls, her daughter asked her to hand her “the black one.”  Tamika writes that she and her husband had done all the right things to ensure that their daughter would be culturally sensitive and respectful of the differences of others.

They had bought the right books, reflecting the diversity of persons in the world.   They had surrounded her with the right friends, who demonstrated the many cultures and traditions that humanity represents.  They had used the right words, being mindful of their speech when discussing persons of other nationalities.

So, when her daughter used color- coded language to differentiate between two dolls, Tamika thought that it was time for “the race talk.”  But, was it really?   Was it what her daughter said or what she thought that she heard?  Click here to find out.

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