40 Ways to Raise a Non-Racist Child by Barbara Mathias

Spread the love

Stars: *****

HarperCollins (1996)

I was leery at first to read this book as racism is a hard subject to cover. However I am very impressed. Barbara Mathias and Mary Ann French did a superb job. These authors do not suggest you pretend race does not exist, in fact, they suggest you do not do that. The first section has advice for all parents and then the rest of the book is divided into age groups: Infancy through Preschool, The Early Elementary School years, The Upper Elementary School years, the Young Teen Years and the High School Years. Topics include: Insist on Respect, Select a Diverse Middle School, Face your Teen’s Prejudice, Involve the Community and Don’t Pretend Discrimination Doesn’t exist.

The very second item is about why White parents should care about racism. In Ms. Mathias Introduction, she approaches the potential risk in approaching racism in a format such as ’40 Ways to…” and she assures us that she does not mean to imply that racism is not a serious matter but that parents have little time to read long books about parenting. Ms. French also has an Introduction. These wonderful authors say that kids will notice differences and that’s fine. While most of society thinks that going ‘color-blind’ will eliminate racism, these two (and I) do not agree. “Yes she does have darker skin than you. And you have lighter skin than her. It would be pretty boring if we were all the same wouldn’t it?” is a premise of the book.

Finally, Ms. Mathis and Ms. French do not lay blame on any one race or age group. It’s not the Whites fault or the Blacks or Hispanics fault and it’s not the parents fault or the kids fault. It’s the communities fault and the community needs to work together to stop racism.

Links of Interest: NONE

Other Reviews: NONE YET

Buy 40 Ways to Raise a Non-Racist Child at amazon.com and support SMS Book Reviews

This post is Copyright 2001-2012 SMS Book Reviews. Do not reproduce anything without permission.
About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.