Review of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey
Updated: Sep 10, 2020
Harvey emphasizes the urgency of the need for change and offers age-appropriate examples to help build young advocates equipped to work toward racial equality.
"What strategies will help our children learn to function well in a diverse nation? What roles do we want them to play in addressing racism when they encounter it? How do we equip them for these roles? How do we talk about race honestly with our children, which means naming white privilege...?"
Harvey explores how to move from one-dimensional, "we are all equal," colorblind platitudes to the slightly more full statement "we should all be equal, we all have equal worth, but we don't yet all experience equality" and further, to showing children how to actively partner in achieving racial justice.
Through providing age-appropriate examples and specifics, Harvey delves into how to be "committed to equity and justice while living in a society that is not only racially unjust and deeply segregated, but which privileges your racial group at the same time," and she notes that we have the capacity to effect change--if we overhaul some traditional tools and frameworks in favor of equipping white children to be part of the change.
"We are a nation in crisis. Creating a different future requires that we tell the truth about that."
With the goal of bringing up children "who are able, engaged, and high-functioning when it comes to matters of race, diversity, and, most important, anti-racism," Harvey notes regarding the work required to achieve racial justice, "we have a long way to go, but we can go."
Harvey is specific and practical throughout the book, and she provides a series of valuable messages that are important to explore.
What did you think?
I read this while meeting regularly with a group, and it inspired some important discussions. Any other books on the topic of race that you found illuminating and useful?