By Trina Moore-Southall, Ed.D.
I was in a department store with my beautiful, Black children. A white child from his stroller examines the skin tone of my children. He then asked (who I assume to be) his mother, “Why is their skin brown?” The lady responded, “That’s not nice”. This response communicates to the child that recognizing people as different is wrong. The message is clear: Diversity is a bad thing. I felt a need to intervene. I knelt down to the young boy and put my brown hand next to his white hand. I explained that my hand was bigger, b犀利士
ecause he is still growing and maybe one day his hand will be bigger than mine. I also said we both have something called Melanin. I have a lot, which has made my skin darker. He has a little bit, which has made his skin lighter. When I had my children, they also got my melanin. He then said (at maybe 4 years old)” My mom and dad didn’t have a lot of melanin, so I ‘m white like them!” Kids are so much smarter than we give them credit. The lady still seemed uncomfortable and did not know how to respond to me or the revelation her child just had. I said to her, “This is only the beginning.” When children have questions, we answer them. My hope is that her next conversation with her child about difference is ongoing and purposeful. I also hope that this child will not silence his friends, family members, or maybe one day his own children when they equate the recognition of difference with something erroneous. (more…)