Anti-Racism Teaching Resources

By Kelley Boymer
8 Feb 2022

Racism occurs across a spectrum in our society. It exists within institutions and individual beliefs. As an elementary teacher, I saw a range of understanding in my 3rd graders, some with the most profound insights and some showing the result of exposure to racist beliefs. We know racism is learned early on in development and by preschool “children begin showing both implicit and explicit bias toward members of other races.” The transformational change that we want to achieve with our future generations starts in the home. And while it is important for our schools to push this change as well, it is also our responsibility as parents and caregivers to take the lead.

We can start teaching kids about anti-racism early on to build a strong foundation of understanding, dismantle white supremacy and prevent prejudice from taking root. Here are some anti-racism teaching resources to help you wherever you are on the journey of anti-racism. Below you will find a roundup of resources that are helpful in addressing racism, inequality and bias in society.

Anti-Racism Teaching Resources

Books

  • Antiracist Baby by Ibram X Kendi (Baby-Toddler): Studies have shown that racism can begin as early as 6 months old. If you live in a place that is lacking in diversity, like Vermont, it is even more important to start young. Written by Ibram X Kendi, Antiracist Baby proposes 9 talking points around race with young children. 
  • The Day You Begin by Jaqcueline Woodson (Grades 1-3): I read this with my 3rd graders last year and it sparked so many meaningful conversations. Jacqueline Woodson is one of my favorite children’s authors and always provides the most beautiful stories with such rich lessons.
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqcueline Woodson (Grades 3-6): Another from Woodson, because her writing is just so accessible and inspiring. This story told through poetry weaves history with Woodson’s experience growing up.
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Grades 6 and up): This story illustrates the struggle of a Black girl who grows up in a Black community but attends a white private school. She endures micro-aggressions on the daily and is forced to figure out how to stand up for herself while also protecting her friendships and high school experience. The Hate U Give was also made into a movie which is equally powerful and inspiring.
  • Looking for resources to improve and further your own understanding and work around racism, inequality and bias? Try How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.
  • Diverse Book Lists for Children

Videos

Tools/Activities

  • Colors of the World Crayons Pack– This multicultural crayon set from Crayola provides a great opportunity to talk with your child about all different races around the world.
  • Cinnamon Annie Doll– If you live in a place without much diversity, dolls are a great way to begin opening your little one’s eyes to all sorts of shades in skin tone.

Other Resources

Podcasts

  • Talking Race with Young Children: Conversations about race often feel uncomfortable, this podcast from NPR helps us navigate the tough conversations we need to face head on.
  • Seeing White: A fascinating podcast about the history and foundation of “whiteness” and how it has led to white supremacy and systematic racism for hundreds of years.

Have you started any conversations with your children about race? What resources have you found to be helpful in guiding you through this process? Please let us know in the comments. We want this to be a helpful resource and safe space to discuss this important work. Any derogatory, disrespectful or racist commentary will not be tolerated.

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3 Comments

  1. Sarah wrote:

    Love this. I’m white and my child is still young (18months) but I’m starting to think about how to have these conversations. We’ve already given him several dolls with darker skin tones than his own but I look forward to reading through these resources as he gets older and begins to understand more.

    2.9.22 | Reply
  2. Heidi wrote:

    I have been listening to Jasmine at First Name Basis and she is great at breaking down racism and how to talk to your kids about it. She has also created and launched a wonderful resource called Bite-Sized Black History that is for families and schools to use. It is such a cool resource https://www.allyelementary.com/

    2.10.22 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      thank you for sharing Heidi definitely checking this out.

      2.10.22 | Reply

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