How to talk about race, justice and equality with your children

We round up age-appropriate books, videos and online resources.

Written by
Oliver Strand
Photograph: Shutterstock

How do you talk about racial unrest, protests and news reports with your children?  

We're here to help you navigate these sensitive subjects. Whether you already brought up these topics in a family meeting or you decided that now is the time to address these issues, we found books, essays, videos and websites that can lead you through discussions that are careful, thoughtful and age-appropriate.

Books and essays

• Books about race that celebrate diversity

There are many fantastic children's books that will help your kids address these issues as they arise. They include AntiRacist Baby, a forthcoming board book for kids 3 and under; Hands Up!, a joyful picture book for ages 4–8 and New Kid, a Newbery-winning graphic novel for ages 8–12, among others. Some of these books can be downloaded for free on SimplyE, the e-reader from the New York Public Library.

"Talking to Kids About George Floyd"

This short essay from the nonprofit Child Mind Institute is essential reading. It suggests we don't avoid the subject, be calm and factual, listen to our kids and let them ask questions—and be honest when we don't know the answer.


• Helping Children Cope with Crisis 

This activity book from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development can be downloaded for free. 

• The Conscious Kid

 This book subscription service is for kids ages 3 and under, and readers ages 4–8. It highlights works from underrepresented groups. 

Online Resources

• Embrace Race

Dedicated to raising a generation that's thoughtful and informed, Embrace Race has articles, action guides and webinars for parents looking to talk about race.

• Classroom Resources from TED-Ed

Parents can find a curated curriculum of 10 TED talks that address race, voting rights, the criminal justice system and other topics.

Raising Race Conscious Children

This is a collection of essays, workshops, a podcast and other resources for the home, including "100 Race-Conscious Things you can Say to Your Child To Advance Racial Justice."

• Black Lives Matter at School

The comprehensive teaching resource includes lessons, activity books and more. It's intended for teachers, but it can be used at home.

The Courageous Life of Ida B. Wells

The groundbreaking journalist Ida B. Wells was covering racism, violence and injustice—in 1892. This video from TED-Ed helps us understand the history behind what's happening today.

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