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.
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.