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Resources for Fostering Racial Equity

Read the Board of Trustees' statement on anti-racism. Read the Head of School letter on recent anti-racism actions.

Below are resources for varied ages and stages to have meaningful - hard and sometimes uncomfortable but very necessary conversations - to help us grow in our capacity to actively affirm equity, inclusion, and basic human dignity. Some of these do so by featuring characters and stories of everyday lives of youth and families of color in the United States and around the world.  Colorblindness is not enough, in fact not a good approach.  Populating our bookshelves and movie nights with multiracial people is foundational to affirming our shared humanity.  Other resources feature analyses of racial injustice, policy studies, and exercises in self-reflection. We offer these varied perspectives so that each of you can make a personal decision about your own journey towards being actively anti-racist. Please reach out to Dr. Rachel Jean-Baptiste at rjeanbaptiste@kingschoolct.org with questions or comments. 

Resources for adults to grow in their own capacity, language, and fluency in racial literacy:

  1. Real American by Julie Lythcott-Haims. Author, speaker, former dean at Stanford and corporate Lawyer. Powerful and award-winning reflection on identity, belonging, and community that details her growing up Black and biracial in white spaces. Shares the toll that racism, discrimination, and microaggressions took on her self-worth, and how she found acceptance through the healing power of community.
  2. White Fragility by Robin Diangelo. Provocative, best-selling, book by professor and public speaker of Whiteness Studies and Critical Discourse Analysis who coined the phrase "White Fragility," which she defines as a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. Book explains the dynamics of White Fragility and how to build self-capacity in the on-going work towards racial justice.
  3. Racial Healing by Anneliese A. Singh.  Offers practical tools to help  navigate racial identity, daily and past experiences of racism, challenge internalized negative messages and privileges, and handle feelings of stress and shame, heal from grief and trauma.
  4. How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.  Professor, researcher, award-winning writer and public speaker takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in broader social contexts and in ourselves.
  5. Healthychildren.org: "Talking to Children About Racial Bias", by Ashaunta Anderson, MD, MPH, MSHS, FAAP and Jacqueline Dougé, MD, MPH, FAAP, including link to article on how to talk to children of varied ages about tragedies.
  6. Racial Literacy Curriculum and Teacher and Parent/Guardian Companion Guide by former curriculum specialist and teacher Monique Vogelsand.  Download for free by non-profit organization Pollyanna, Inc.
  7. Video by Trevor Noah, comedian and host of Daily Show: George Floyd and the Dominos of Racial Injustice.

 

Lower School

  1. Article for adults with tools for how to talk to young children about race when they ask everyday questions at teachingforchage.org: "Children, Race and Racism: How Race Awareness Develops" by Louise Derman-Sparks, Carol Tanaka Higa, Bill Sparks.
  2. Read aloud to children: Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o, I Am Enough by Grace Byers, Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry (also a short animated film), Parker Looks Up by Parker Curry, Not Quite Snow White by Ashley Franklin.
  3. For independent readers: Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes; Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia.
  4. The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind, film directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor based on the memoir and true story of William Kamkwamba, an inventor from Malawi who built a wind turbine and other electronic devices to help his family of farmers through a period of famine.
  5. Queen of Katwe, film directed by Mira Nair and starring Lupita Nyong'o based on the true story of a teenage girl from a poor suburb of Kampala, Uganda who overcomes gender and racial inequity to become one of the country's first female titled chess players and goes on to play in international tournaments.

 

Middle School

  1. Shuri: A Black Panther Novel by Nic Stone. Best selling upper-middle-grade graphic novel starring the break-out character from the Black Panther comics and films, Shuri, a skilled martial artist, a genius, and a master of science and technology and a teenager who sets out on a quest to save her homeland of Wakanda. Black Panther graphic novels written by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
  2. Dear Martin by Nic Stone. Best-selling YA novel about an African-American high school senior in a predominantly white school who starts writing letters to Martin Luther King Jr. following an encounter he has with a police officer.
  3. American Born Chinese by  Gene Luen Yang. Graphic novel by award winning writer, cartoonist, former teacher and engineer, and MacArthur award recipient that has three interwoven tales about Chinese-American youth and their experiences of racial stereotypes held by their peers.
  4. It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Adapted for Young Readers) by Trevor Noah. Compelling, powerful, humorous memoir by comedian/host of Daily Show of growing up in apartheid and post-apartheid era South Africa as the son of a black African mother and white European father in a period in which being multiracial itself was a crime.
  5. Queen of Katwe, film.

  

Upper School

  1. Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Award-winning, complex memoir by journalist, author, and speaker as a letter to his teenage son about his experiences and reflections of growing up as a Black male in the United States from his youth in a poverty-stricken neighborhood in Baltimore to college and early adulthood. 
  2. Born A Crime by Trevor Noah. Poignant, powerful, best-selling, humorous memoir by comedian/host of Daily Show of growing up in apartheid and post-apartheid era South Africa as the south of a black African mother and white European father in a period.
  3. To read and watch as a family: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and movie: The Hate U Give.  See review on Common Sense Media to determine if content is right for your family.  Best-selling and award-winning novel in which author seeks to expand understanding of the Black Lives Matters movement through the experiences of Starr Carter, a 16-year-old black girl who lives in a mostly poor black urban neighborhood but attends an affluent mostly white suburban private school and how her life is upended by the death by gunshot of a childhood friend. (May also be suitable for students 13+ years old)
  4. Queen of Katwe, film.
  5. Award-winning, best selling novels, poetry, and graphic novel by Jason Reynolds
  6.  My identity is a superpower -- not an obstacle. Ted Talk by Emmy-winning actress America Ferrera.

 

Parents of color seeking to mitigate their family's trauma from racial injustice

  1. Lupita Nyong'o Speech on Black Beauty.
  2. Racial Healing by Anneliese A. Singh.
  3. Between the World and Me and Black Panther graphic novels by Ta-Nehisi Coates. 
  4. Dr. Rebecca Hersherg, psychologist and parent coach video on: 7 building blocks of children's resilience as part of the Parenting Through Coronavirus series in parent education for King School.
  5. Shuri: A Black Panther Novel by Nic Stone.
  6. To read and watch as a family: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and movie: The Hate U Give.
  7. Mother to Son: Letters to a Black Boy on Identity and Hope by Jasmine L. Holmes. Series of letters to her young son by a middle school teacher, writer and blogger based on her identity as an African-American Christian and what she wants her son to know as he grows and approaches the world as a black man.