This superb, rational, and highly readable volume answers a deeply felt need. Parents and educators alike have long struggled to understand what meanings race might have for the very young, and for ways to insure that every child grows up with a healthy sense of self. Marguerite Wright handles sensitive issues with consummate clarity, practicality, and hope. Here we have an indispensable guide that will doubtless prove a classic.
--Edward Zigler, sterling professor of psychology and director, Yale Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy
A child's concept of race is quite different from that of an adult. Young children perceive skin color as magical--even changeable--and unlike adults, are incapable of understanding adult predjudices surrounding race and racism. Just as children learn to walk and talk, they likewise come to understand race in a series of predictable stages.
Based on Marguerite A. Wright's research and clinical experience, I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla teaches us that the color-blindness of early childhood can, and must, be taken advantage of in order to guide the positive development of a child's self-esteem.
Wright answers some fundamental questions about children and race including:
* What do children know and understand about the color of their skin?
* When do children understand the concept of race?
* Are there warning signs that a child is being adversely affected by racial prejudice?
* How can adults avoid instilling in children their own negative perceptions and prejudices?
* What can parents do to prepare their children to overcome the racism they are likely to encounter?
* How can schools lessen the impact of racism?
With wisdom and compassion, I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla spells out how to educate black and biracial children about race, while preserving their innate resilience and optimism--the birthright of all children.