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This superb, rational, and highly readable volume answers a deeplyfelt need. Parents and educators alike have long struggled tounderstand what meanings race might have for the very young, andfor ways to insure that every child grows up with a healthy senseof self. Marguerite Wright handles sensitive issues with consummateclarity, practicality, and hope. Here we have an indispensableguide 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--andunlike adults, are incapable of understanding adult predjudicessurrounding race and racism. Just as children learn to walk andtalk, they likewise come to understand race in a series ofpredictable stages.
Based on Marguerite A. Wright's research and clinical experience, I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla teaches us that the color-blindnessof early childhood can, and must, be taken advantage of in order toguide the positive development of a child's self-esteem.
Wright answers some fundamental questions about children and raceincluding:
* What do children know and understand about the color of theirskin?
* When do children understand the concept of race?
* Are there warning signs that a child is being adversely affectedby racial prejudice?
* How can adults avoid instilling in children their own negativeperceptions and prejudices?
* What can parents do to prepare their children to overcome theracism they are likely to encounter?
* How can schools lessen the impact of racism?
With wisdom and compassion, I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla spellsout how to educate black and biracial children about race, whilepreserving their innate resilience and optimism--the birthright ofall children.