Doing the Work (still, always)
Ten months ago, Spitfire published a post called "Doing the Work" where we/I grappled with antiracism in Spitfire's work and provided resources for families trying to do the work, themselves. I said "One of the most important things I can say in this post is that this is a journey - one book, one conversation, one protest, one donation, one black square on Instagram will not solve this problem." This remains true: the work is not done.
Black men and women continue to die at the hands of the police. White supremacy continues to reign supreme in America. Our kids are aware of this. They know about Black Lives Matter. But do they understand why we need to say this? Our kids need us to show them the way. And though the path isn't always clear, Dr. King's reminder that silence is complicity still stands.
It can be really hard to talk candidly about police brutality, about white supremacy, and about implicit bias. We offer some resources for antiracism education and talking with your kids about antiracism in this post, and we make some children's book recommendations here. We don't want to traumatize our kids, but if we have any hope that their generation will bring about change, we must have these conversations.
Today, we’re sharing a video in which we attempt to unpack the complicated intersection of white supremacy, implicit bias, and police brutality in a way that’s safe and appropriate for kids.
Please watch it, and, if you’re comfortable with our content, share it with your Spitfire. Please note that this video is made by a white woman (me - Ms. Amanda). While this video may be of interest to BIPOC kids, it may also feel less relevant to them, as they have likely experienced white supremacy first-hand and do not need to be made aware of this sad reality.
After you watch, ask your Spitfire what they're feeling. Ask what they want to know. Make sure that they feel safe and heard, and offer honest, careful answers. You may not get it perfectly right, but don’t avoid this or other hard conversations out of fear. We must teach our kids to grapple with hard topics. And, when all else fails, “I don’t know, let me find an answer for you” is an important thing for kids to hear and learn, too.
Today’s book is “Intersection Allies” by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi, illustrated by Ashley Seil Smith. You can purchase a copy here (not an affiliate link).