Britt, with all the articles, magazines, books, and podcasts, people still aren't sure where to start and if they should even practice antiracism.
Every child deserves the right to be parented in an antiracist way. So starting your journey is always the right thing because antiracism is about the active resistance to racism. It's about supporting our children in reaching their fullest potential and keeping them becoming compassionate, empathic human beings. The foundation of our liberation framework is community: we must cultivate the ability and capacity to care for one another deeply. When we're genuinely in and relating to our community, we'll sense the injustices and justices of the world. If we're lucky enough to have a strong community, its members will challenge us to take action, encourage us to listen more, and share their wisdom.
Can you take us through the five principles you mention in your Raising Antiracist Children: A Practical Parenting Guide that we can keep in mind when parenting with antiracist values?
Community is at the heart of antiracism.
Children have a natural desire to learn, and we guide our antiracist work by embracing their curiosity.
Antiracism requires imagination, creativity, and action. We must be willing to build the world we want to live in.
An antiracist-prepared environment is imperative.
Re-parenting is required; enjoy the learning and unlearning that will happen.
What is antiracism, and what are a couple of activities we can do with our children?
Antiracism is the active resistance to racism. With children, there are so many activities we can do together.
We can focus on having honest representation in the toys, books, and movies our children engage with.
Remember to center Black people and people of color in your home.
Include antiracism in everything you do, including playtime. When I'm building with my child, I ask him questions that will make him think about his neighbors. For instance, if he wants to build a house, school, or castle, I can ask him: "oh wait, where's our ramp for people who use wheelchairs and have strollers?" "What's this? Wow, a basketball court in the house. How about a swimming pool? We can add a kiddie pool for the younger children. Where are the grandparents going to play?" We also focus on activism in our home.
Emphasize activism with your child. We have a letter-writing station in our home with writing supplies (paper, envelopes, pencils, and stamps). We also have a picture frame of local politicians' names, addresses, and social media handles they can reference when creating content to address issues concerning them.
What's one pitfall that you're working through that others might be struggling with?
Perfectionism stops me in my tracks every time. It might show up as stalling the execution of a project; I say, "just one more edit," or "I'm just not ready to hit publish." Perfectionism can also show up as procrastination, where I spend my days making to-do lists instead of mastering my to-do list. I try to remind myself that the worst thing that can happen is simply making a mistake. Now, I have a phrase that I constantly say to myself and my children, "mistakes belong here, too."
Keep the conversations coming in your house, and let me know what you think! I'd love to hear from you.
Thanks for being a part of Raising Good Humans. We are in this together.