How to Talk to Kids about Race – with Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum

A conversation with one of the nation’s leading experts on race

How to Talk to Kids about Race

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They called it too soon.

Think of how many times in the past 10-15 years that commentators and experts had declared that we’d moved into a “post-racial era.” Yet turn on the news today and you’re bound to see headlines that painfully point out that race issues are still a major cause of strife in America today. While we’ve certainly made some steps forward, there is plenty of progress left to be made.

We often like to tell ourselves that young children are “color-blind,” as if they don’t notice the color of their friends’ or others’ skin. Yet as my guest in this episode points out, it is our experiences with race as children — experiences that often don’t get talked about with the adults in our lives — that shape our understanding of and comfort with race as adults.

The key to raising a new generation of people who can adeptly discuss and navigate race-related issues is to talk about race with our children now, no matter how old they are.

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum is here to show you how.



how to talk to kids about race

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum is one of the nation’s leading experts on race, the psychology of race, and its role in the development of identity. She is the bestselling author of three books on race, including Why Are the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And
Other Conversations About Race
, which has been rereleased as a 20th-Anniversary Edition this year. Dr. Tatum is the former president of Spelman College, a historically black college for women, and has spent decades leading national conversations about race. She is the recipient of the 2013 Carnegie Academic Leadership Award and the American Psychological Association’s 2014 Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology, and is the 2017 Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor at the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University.

This was a fantastic conversation that you simply must hear!

In This Episode, We Talk About:

  • Why it’s so hard for us to talk about race, especially with kids
  • How our own early experiences with race shape how we communicate about it with our kids
  • Why it’s so important to talk to kids about race & how young you should start
  • How to use every day moments as teaching points
  • How race influences your child’s development
  • How our communities have surprisingly become more segregated in the past few decades
  • How conversations might change based on the racial makeup of your family
  • Ways that you might even talk about the complex issue of social injustice with your kids
  • And so much more!

Scroll up to the player above to listen, or hear it on your favorite podcast app!

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How to Talk to Kids about Race