This is most definitely a time for difficult conversations. Diversifying our reading list is one place we are starting as a family. Upon request, I thought I would share a few of the children’s books and resources that we have found valuable in helping educate our kids (and ourselves!) about race specifically as we work to raise compassionate, loving and courageous children.
Books We’re Reading
I wanted to start off by sharing a few of the books we’ve been reading with the kids. Charles and I think it’s extremely important that we diversify the books we read to the kids and one simple way to start is by incorporating more books into our library with BIPOC.
To be honest, I sadly realized when I looked at our library that there was a serious lack of diversity in the books I was reading to the boys. We read together every night, and it’s such a precious time. But when I looked at the titles on our bookshelf, most of the books were about young white boys. So, off I marched to the book store!
There are so many incredible books out there that are helping us introduce the boys to more diversity in culture, race, and gender. I shared these on stories a couple of weeks ago but had so many requests for a blog that I thought it was important to share here.
We are continuing to expand our little library and as we do I’ll continue to share. If you have any books I’ve missed (there are MANY, I know) please comment with your favourites below! I’ve also started to choose books with more diverse characters regardless of the storyline, such as the Explorers of the Wild or the Remember Balloons (about Alzheimer’s disease, which my dad has… that’s for another blog).
A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
Little Leaders Bold Women in History by Vashti Harrison
Rosa Parks: Little People Big Dreams by Lisbeth Kaiser
Muhammad Ali: My first Muhammad Ali by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Brosmind
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
Sofia Valdez, Future Prez by Andrea Beaty
Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai
The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler
Explorers of the Wild by Cale Atkinson
There are so many great resources online now to help guide meaningful conversations. I came across this free guide that was written specifically to help parents have these conversations and it provides so much great information. If you have kids that are a little bit older, this video really helps to explain systematic racism. It’s important to to us that we take the time to learn, absorb and act on this information to help provide a foundation for change.
Accounts to Follow
Social media has been an incredibly educational place over the past month and it’s important the discussion continues beyond the impactful work and changes that we have seen so far. I started following many Instagram accounts that I think are extremely impactful and that are great to follow. Here are a few of them:
@stylefitfatty (source of the image above)
Not only does Fatima create absolutely beautiful content, but she herself is a mother … I love learning from other moms! Her posts are heartwarming, encouraging, and uplifting. Her stories also often have the little workouts she sneaks in during the kids nap time and other beautiful thoughts that she shares. I would highly recommend watching her anti-racism highlight.
@ohhappydani (source of the image above)
You may have come across this amazing account (or image above) over the past few weeks. Dani has created beautiful and inspiring graphic art to help share quotes, resources, and thoughts on the topic of racism. Her attitude and smile are incredible. Her art makes things easier to understand, are impactful and highlights incredibly important information.
@emmanuelacho (source of the image above)
Emmanuel Acho has a series called ‘Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man’. Each episode is around 10 minutes long, and let me tell you they are definitely worth a watch. In order to educate our kids, we need to educate ourselves.
Where to Donate
If you’re looking to donate to some of the amazing organizations that are doing work in this space Elle Canada has rounded up 19 organizations that are supporting Black Canadians. There are so many ways we can be active in this space right now, and donating is one way to directly help the cause. One organization in particular from this list is the Black Youth Helpline. This Canadian organization focuses on helping Black Youth stay in school, helps youth nurture their health, and provides a community of support.
There are many, MANY conversations to have with our children, and I have so much learning to do myself. I am a humble student here, and look forward to continuing to learn alongside my children. Please feel free to share any resources that you have found valuable below of course.
This post contains affiliate links where I earn a small commission off of any linked item that is purchased. 100% of the money earned from this post will be donated to the Black Youth Helpline.
All great books! I’m happy that somebody inspirational has demonstrated the importance of opening the eyes of children! There are so many great books to bring them aware of the uniqueness that our world has to offer! I agree that diversity is incredibly important to discuss with children in a language that they understand! The list could literally go on forever but these are a couple others that I have come across recently “The Skin I’m in: A First Look at Racism”, “All Are Welcome”, “Jack (Not Jackie)”, “Last Stop on Market Street” and “When we are Alone”!
Taryn Kooner says
Just wanted to let you know about a children’s book that a girlfriend of mine from Kelowna recently published – it’s called My Deep Breath, by Deepa Parekh. It’s not about race but the the little boy learning how to handle big emotions is Indian, so it’s also nice to see some diversity in the characters. It’s available on Amazon 🙂
Ana Hicks says
Thank you so much for sharing this and I hope you continue to share your journey. We need to be talking about it as adults so we can learn how to talk to our children about it!