In early June, protests were widespread around the world to end systemic racism and police brutality towards black people. Gangs of peaceful demonstrators filled the sidewalks in Old Louisville, downtown, and the eastern and western ends of our city, locked their arms, and emerged despite the pandemic, tear gas, and 90-degree heat.
Sadiqa Reynolds, President and CEO of Louisville Urban League, caught up Today’s woman Amidst a media storm, a little breathless and exhausted from the traumatic events of the week to discuss what parents can do to raise a racially sensitive child.
Sadiqa, an activist and mother of two, says the first step begins before your children are born. The education of racially sensitive children begins with being racistly sensitive themselves. Parents need to examine their choices and racial optics – their own personal prejudices and prejudices. Think about who you hire to clean your house or landscape, and who you choose as a lawyer, doctor, business partner, friend or neighbor.
Our children need to see diversity in all areas, including our bookshelves, says Sadiqa. We can read books to our children with black and brown heroes when they are still in the womb, and deliberately search for culturally competent resources such as Play Cousins Collective. “We need to have another race talk and stop painting people with wide brushes.”
Sadiqa says we need to understand the role of the media in creating these stereotypes and maintaining systemic racism. “Above all, we have to teach our children to ask questions. It’s a difficult time to be a parent … We have to talk about the news, be honest about where the shortcomings are and how African Americans are portrayed. But we don’t have to pretend we know everything, we just have to ask questions and dig deeper to investigate the causes [of our city’s problems]. We all need a diverse flow of information. “
Ultimately, according to Sadiqa, it will not only make us, but also our children, better people if we are a critical thinker.
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