11 things to do with kids to help them learn about racism

Fun and educational things to read, watch and do

Written by
Jasmine Price
Photograph: Time Out/Shutterstock
Photograph: Time Out/Shutterstock

Over the past month, the Black Lives Matter movement has seen an increase in support, globally and here in London. Across the city, Londoners have taken to the streets and social media to call for change. Meanwhile, the racial injustices faced by Black people – both at the hands of police and in day-to-day life – have come into focus. But what next?

In our new series we’re going to be sharing tools for continuing the learning and action that started in June. From stuff to do with kids that’ll help them develop an anti-racist outlook to guides for adults on what to read and which businesses to support, this series is aimed at helping anyone who still has learning to do wise up to the issues faced by Black people and promote kindness, empathy and understanding. First up: one for the parents. Here are some tools that’ll help you help your kids understand racism. 

For kids who hate reading…

1. Yoopies

Teaching app Yoopies has created a family-friendly and free guide to anti-racism for children of all ages. Resources discuss racial inequalities in modern British society and how to combat racism.

 2. ‘The School that Tried to End Racism’, Channel 4

Head to All4 to check out this documentary following a school in south London. Each week the students do experiments that explore issues like unconscious racial bias and white privilege.

3. The ‘Blue Peter’ Black Lives Matter talk

When the Black Lives Matter protests started gathering pace earlier in June, the presenters of one of the most beloved childrens shows in the UK decided to talk about it. This clip is a great explainer about how people are treated differently because of the colour of their skin. 

… and for kids who love it

4. ‘Antiracist Baby’, Ibram X Kendi

This picture book focuses on empowering parents and children to uproot racism in our society and in ourselves. With fun pictures and numbered points including things like ‘celebrate all our differences’, it’s recommended for children aged around 3.

5. ‘This Book Is Anti-Racist’, Tiffany Jewell

A good one for anyone (young or old) who wants to learn what racism is and how to use their voice to be actively anti-racist. If your kid is noticing injustice but doesn’t know what to do, this is a good place to start.

6. ‘Hands Up!’, Breanna J McDaniel

Aimed at kids aged 4-8, this is a picture book about a little girl who joins together with her family and her community to do a protest march. It’s a good one for youngsters who’ve been inspired by early trips to protests or seeing footage of BLM marches.

7. ‘Little Leaders: Exceptional Men in Black History’, Vashti Harrison

Ever noticed how it’s usually the white guys who go down in history? This book tries to reverse that, telling the story of 35 pioneering black men who defied obstacles to change people’s lives.

8. ‘Corey’s Rock’, Sita Brahmachari

Isla’s mother’s family is from Orkney and her father’s is from Africa. When the ten-year-old moves from the big city of Edinburgh to the tiny community of her mum’s home town, lessons are learned about acceptance, adjustment and cultural heritage. For ages 9 and up.

9. ‘Sulwe’, Lupita Nyong’o

Not only has actress Lupita Nyong’o won an Oscar and starred in multiple acclaimed films, she’s also written this book, which tackles colourism in a heart-warming and sensitive way for 3- to 7-year-olds. It tells the story of a young girl who wants her skin to be lighter.

10. ‘Ghost Boys’, Jewell Parker Rhodes

The storyline of this book for kids aged 9 and above is extremely timely. It’s narrated by a young Black boy who is shot by a white police officer when they mistake his toy gun for a real one.

11. ‘The Boy at the Back of the Class’, Onjali Q Raúf

This funny, warm book talks about the refugee crisis from a child’s perspective. It’s a great way for kids to learn about the importance of kindness and building friendships without prejudice.

Jasmine Price is a curly-haired lass, from the West Midlands, living in South London. She enjoys drinking endless cups of tea and the occasional gin and has been working for Time Out for almost a year.

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