Talking to south asian children about racism is more important than ever, given what’s happening in the world around us. South asian families are generally not that aware about issues of race, privilege and micro aggressions. These are important discussions that need to happen to raise children who are aware, balanced and educated about human rights.
Before anything I would advice adults to educate themselves also. Here is a list of books I compiled by Black authors that I highly recommend.
Actions to Take to be more inclusive
Children learn better when talking is accompanied by actions and here are some I would recommend to be more inclusive:
- When picking books and toys for your children make sure all racial identities are represented. This means picking books with diverse identities, dolls with all skin colours and packaging that represents people of colour also.
- Be more inclusive in your circle of acquaintance.
- Be aware of how you talk in front of your children. Racist jokes are never funny.
Books to Read With Children About Racism
Hiba Masood, the amazing Drama Mama, has put together a lovely list of books to read with your children. These are all available at Liberty Books in Pakistan.
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Talking to South Asian Children about Racism
Now we come to the actual talking part. I know most of us as adults don’t feel equipped to talking to children about race, racism and #BlackLivesMatter because we ourselves are not that educated on the matter.
It’s important to acknowledge differences amongst various races. How boring would a world be if we all looked alike? Talk to your children about how we must respect and celebrate these differences rather than use them as a way to feel superior or inferior to any other race.
Zeynab and I talked about these issues in our Live Urdu story time this Saturday.
I also love Hiba Masood’s video for muslim kids:
The most important step in talking to south asian children about racism is to start. Hope these resources help you.
Take care and do share resources that have helped you!