What does your child know about the civil rights movement and racism in America? SheKnows’s educational Hatch Program tried to find out. They conducted a workshop with tweens and teens to tackle the tough topic, covering the civil rights movement, from Martin Luther King, Jr., in the 1950s to today’s #BlackLivesMatter movement, along with recent statistics about the number of African-Americans killed in America on a daily basis. Then they created a video of the kids (above) sharing their inspiring thoughts on what they’d learned.
Some of the children in the video (posted Monday on SheKnows’s Facebook page to more than one thousand views) wondered why African-Americans are still being treated differently years after the civil rights movement. They also expressed how important it is to talk about race at home and to stand up for others affected by racism.
“Kids should be educated more about what’s happening in the world,” says one girl in the video. “Because let’s say you have really, really protective parents who don’t tell you about the terrible stuff that’s going on, then it’s going to be so much harder to fix all of the problems of the world if the next generation doesn’t know about it.”
SheKnows’s Hatch video of kids discussing racism in America (She Knows)
Added one boy: “Everyone around us, I think, who cares should start trying to do a little more like what Martin Luther King [Jr.] did by, like, speaking up instead of just being like, ‘Oh, it’s a terrible thing.’”
Talking about racism with your children in an age-appropriate way is one way to help combat it, but many families aren’t having those conversations at home. A 2014 MTV survey found that less than 40 percent of teenagers say their parents discuss racial issues at home. This is especially true in Caucasian families, which tend to be “colorblind” or “colormute” when it comes to talking about race with their kids. What’s more, only 20 percent of responders in the survey say they’re comfortable talking about racial bias, even though 73 percent believe they should talk “more openly” about it.
Want to broach the important topic with your kids, but don’t know where to start? SheKnows offers a discussion guideline about civil rights and racism for parents.