• Parenting

BLOG: Some helpful definitions in understanding race and racism

Young children of different races outside in a circle with their arms around each other.
There's been a lot of talk in the news lately about race and racism. But it can be hard to know what to say, and how to say it, when talking to children. Here are some definitions and resources to get you started. Feel free, however, to do your own research and find examples of these words, which always helps further understanding. 

Anti-Blackness: A two-part formation that both voids Blackness of value, while systematically marginalizing Black people and their issues. The structure is kept in place by anti-Black policies, institutions, and ideologies.

BIPOC: an acronym that stands for Black, Indigenous and People of Color.

Color Blindness: An ideology that promotes ending racial discrimination by treating everyone equally, regardless of race, culture or ethnicity. Color blindness, however, denies that People of Color experience negative consequences because of their race and also invalidates their cultural heritage and unique perspectives. 

Equality and Equity: Equality refers to treating everyone the same, no matter what their needs are or their past experiences have been. Equity refers to giving everyone fair treatment, access and opportunity, as well as eliminating systemic barriers that prevent some from fulling participating in and benefitting from our society. 

Implicit Bias: The negative associations or stereotypes that people unconsciously hold, expressed or felt instantly and automatically – without conscious thought. 

Indigenous Erasure: The process and history in which settler societies discount and eliminate the original presence of Indigenous or native people and cultures. It served as a larger colonial imperative to reduce the existence of Indigenous peoples in order to access land and resources. 

Race: A social construct: it’s a human-invented classification system. It was invented as a way to define physical differences between people, but has more often been used as a tool for oppression and violence.
Systemic Racism: The complex system by which racism is developed, maintained and protected. Moreover, it is the institutionalized pattern of discrimination that cuts across political, economic and social organizations in a society. Structural racism is a part of systemic racism and refers to the compounding effects of an array of factors that systematically privilege white people and disadvantage People of Color.

White Advantage or White Privilege: Refers to the unquestioned and unearned set of advantages, entitlements, benefits and choices bestowed on people solely because they are white. Generally white people who experience such privilege do so without being conscious of it.

Palm Beach County Library System's curated list of books about race for all ages 
Racial Equity Tools - Glossary
Healthychildren.org - Talking to Children About Racial Bias
Today.com - How to talk to kids about race and racism
The Children's Community School - Social Justice Resources
Center for Health Progress - Race is a Social Construct
Sesame Street Workshop - The Power of We

More Answers from Dr. Jones

BLOG: What is implicit bias
BLOG: Why can't I say, 'I don't see color?
BLOG: Should I talk about race and racism with my children?
BLOG: How do I start talking to my young child about race and racism?
BLOG: How can I expand my child's worldview?
BLOG: Expert tips for talking with children about race and racism