Our guests for this conversation were the three child and family psychologists who collaborated to write the children's book, "Something Happened in Our Town": A Child's Story About Racial Injustice. Published by the American Psychological Association's Magination press, the book follows a White family and a Black family as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man. The book includes many resources for parents and educators including child-friendly definitions, sample dialogues, and discussion guides.
In this conversation, authors Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins (whose name is misspelled in the opening video slide, sorry Marietta!) and Ann Hazzard present excerpts from the book and discuss how parents and caregivers can spark conversations about racial injustice and child empowerment with young children. And of course they take questions from the EmbraceRace community, people like you! Below, you'll find an edited transcript of the conversation - the community Q&A starts half way through - followed by a list of resources shared in the chat and then by our special guest bios.
EmbraceRace: Thanks so much for being here, Marianne, Marietta and Ann. We're going to let you show us this book and tell us how you came to write it together. Then we'll talk about it a bit before we take questions from the community.
Marianne: We're happy to be here. I'll start! The book that we wrote together is called Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story about Racial Injustice. It was illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin.
Marianne: The purpose of the book really is to encourage parent-child conversations about race. We want to link past racism, like the history of slavery and segregation and so forth, with modern day racism like racial profiling and other things. We want to teach children of all races to counter racial injustice and value racial diversity in their lives as young children. The book is really developed for children 4 to 8. So we're talking about a population of young children here. And we also want, in the book, to touch on emerging issues like the racial aspects of the immigration debate. So if you've read the book you know that the children apply the lessons that they've learned to the exclusion of a new immigrant child in their classroom at the end of the book, which we'll show you.
"Something Happened in our Town"