There is a continuing important of addressing race within the classroom. Many studies have shown that even very young children are aware of the powerful effects of race in our society as they think about what it means to be African, Asian, European or Native American because children need to make sense of their world. “When teachers avoid the subject, pretending that it doesn’t exist as an issue, or when they portray its existence as merely a fringe issue, they are sending a very strong message…But when teachers find ways to address the effects of race in society, we have found that children feel liberated.” Teachers must educate themselves of other races and then become confident and build the courage to openly talk about it. The article mentions that a young black boy, the only child of color in the class, was taught at a young age to see color and be aware of his blackness. However, all of the other white students were not taught to think about their race. When a child asks a mother why a black student “smelled funny” the mother simply responded “Everyone is different and that’s fine.” By treating the whole topic as somehow forbidden and undiscussable, she conveyed her fear about the “otherness” of the black child. Ultimately “We need to develop new ways of listening and a willingness to hear uncomfortable or even disturbing remarks from our students. Allowing the space for students’ comments and questions isn’t easy. Nor is sustaining it. But the rewards are rich – both liberating and enduring.”

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