Click on the image to download the  full PDF .  Source:    The Children’s Community School

Click on the image to download the full PDF.
Source: The Children’s Community School

The Research

Kids are seeing and thinking about race from infancy. Children as young as three make social distinctions based on race, and the optimal window for influencing children’s racial attitudes is between ages 0-8.

Talking with children explicitly about race and racism is the only thing that has been proven to interrupt problematic comprehensive racial learning experiences.

Racial Literacy

These books are excellent resources to jumpstart explicit conversations about race.

For Adults:

  • Beverly Daniel Tatum’s Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria remains unparalleled for exploring racial identity development. The book is instructive, powerful, and a great place to begin (or continue) your anti-racism journey.

  • So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo is a quick but expansive read.

  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo is a must for white folks.

  • Good Talk by Mira Jacob is a 2018 graphic memoir that recounts the author’s riveting conversations about race with her 5-7 year old biracial child. From Ferguson, to Trump, to the complexities of a mixed race family, she covers so much ground with honesty and humor.



Identity and Diversity

These books increase self-awareness, positive self-identities and family pride. They also move children forward in thinking expansively about humanity, giving them comfort and language for difference, and creating space for deep human connection.

These Colors Are Bananas by Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin is a newer book geared toward the youngest of audiences, and it helps children begin to look at the brilliant colors of nature, and then in the end, look at the variations of human skin colors.

Other excellent titles include:

For Babies & Toddlers:

Bebes Maravillosos by David Ellwand

Baby Faces Board Books Series by Roberta Grobel Intrater

My Heart Fills With Happiness by Monique Gray Smith

Mis Primeras Palabras by Christiane Engel

Yo? Yes! by Chris Raschka

For Preschoolers:

Luka’s Quilt by Georgia Guback

Kite Flying by Grace Lin

Kitchen Dance by Maurie J. Manning

Dear Primo by Duncan Tonatiuh

Bicycles by Kate Perry

Radiant Child by Javaka Steptoe

Elementary School and Up:

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai

The Blue Rose by Linda Boyden

Critical Consciousness and Taking Action

These books help children to recognize unfairness, and have language to describe unfairness. They also give examples of adults and children acting against prejudice and discrimination.

Preschoolers and Up:

Intersection Allies: We Make Room for All by Chelsea Johnson

Let's Talk About Race by Julius Lester

The Case for Loving: The Fight For Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story about Racial Injustice by Anne Hazzard, Marianne Celano, and Marietta Colins

Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham

When We Were Alone by David A Robertson

Si Se Puede/Yes We Can by Diana Cohn

For Elementary School and Up:

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson.

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hammer by Carole Boston Weatherford

Mama’s Nightingale by Edwidge Danticat

Separate is Never Equal by Doncan Tonatiuh