March 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission Report (1968), which investigated the causes of race riots in U.S. cities in the mid-1960s. This groundbreaking federal study raised awareness of the negative effects of segregation and discrimination on black urban communities.
It is important for identity development and self-concept for children and adolescents of color to see positive examples of people who look like them represented in the media and popular culture. Black Panther is doing that for millions of children of color.
It was 2003. I was a first-year doctoral student attending my first research conference. I remember her as if it was yesterday. Except her findings. I was too consumed by the way she looked; her skin color, her tone, the way she looked at her students. At the end of her presentation I waited for my turn to speak to her – although I did not know what I wanted to say. All that came out was “Hi, I’m a student here. Thank you”, as tears ran down my face.
While attending a public-school deemed a “School of Excellence,” I was initially identified as gifted in the third-grade. After scoring in the 99th percentile on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), which is a national standardized test, I was referred for gifted testing and subsequently placed in the gifted program at my school. I was the only Black student in the program, and always felt as if I did not quite belong in the program. Being “smart” came naturally for me, and it was something my parents, teachers, and even I recognized at a young age; however, being in this environment was a bit intimidating and created feelings of competition, a fear of failure, and a desire to be perfect.
For too long educational stakeholders including researchers, administrators, teachers, parents and even students placed value in the notion that African American students have less interest and capacity in education. What is most troubling is that African American students may themselves hold these beliefs. This could lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy, so to speak, contributing to achievement at standards below actual capabilities. Parents and teachers must be sure that they are instilling positive beliefs around African American students and high levels of academic achievement.
As a child of poor immigrants from rural Philippines, I often heard about how my parents grew up without running water and limited electricity. They told my brothers and me stories about the things that they didn’t have while growing up, and how they overcame traumas of war and poverty. These anecdotes made me feel equally grateful and guilty, while also motivating me to strive for success. In fact, it is through these stories that I learned the importance of attaining a college education as a way of fulfilling our parents’ American dreams and somehow compensating for the historical trauma that my family had overcome for centuries.
As a current student in the school psychology program at Howard University. Dr. Malone has served as an instructor and advisor to me over the last three years. She is an assistant professor and coordinator for the school psychology program. In this role she has guided many students in their pursuit of finding their passion in school psychology related research.
As a racial-ethnic socialization (RES) scholar, watching dance reality shows has gotten me to think about another dance that goes on (and is often unnoticed) for many parents: working together to teach their child how to navigate a racialized world.
It is important that we talk about race-ethnicity with children – all children. A recent ethnic-racial identity intervention study provided an opportunity for teenagers to explore their culture and develop a clearer sense of what their ethnicity-race meant to them. Participating had positive effects on youth from all racial-ethnic backgrounds.
All parents have probably noticed that raising a child is not only the parent’s job. You are constantly getting input from other family members, friends and teachers. Children spend more than half their day in school so it is safe to say that the school system, and those who work in it, play a huge role in your child’s life. That means that answering tough questions on topics like race and ethnicity is a challenge that teachers will have to face.