Allie’s Reflections (Loudness in the Library Year Three, Part 4)

A terrific post about one person’s experience discussing prejudice with kids.

Bank Street College Center for Children's Literature

I’ve learned a lot from three years of teaching Loudness in the Library.  Here are some of my oft-recurring thoughts.

  1. Conversations about present-day inequities and injustices are all complicated, but some subjects are more difficult to talk about than others.

Our conversations about sexism flow beautifully.  Kids look at images of covers, and observations about gender and sexism pour out of them, sometimes so fast I can’t record all of the wonderful things they say.

By contrast, conversations about race consistently feature silence, at least initially.  Kids struggle to find language to express their ideas.  They preface their thoughts with “I really hope I won’t offend anyone.”  They start to say something, then shake their heads and say “nevermind.”  This doesn’t happen with 6th-graders as often as it does in adult conversations about race–but there is more silence than occurs in race-related conversations I’ve had with 1st-graders.

Eventually, a brave…

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