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10 Children's Books That Help White Kids Understand What Children Of Color Are Up Against

by Ni'Kesia Pannell

With years of racism, prejudice, and mistreatment of people of color, the need to break it down to children who are not of color is something that is extremely important. For some people, having that conversation of racism and issues with people or children of color may be difficult, so having a few children's books that help white kids understand what children of color are up against help get the point across.

As the aggression between races continues to heighten, there's an extensive amount of history that needs to be explained to children who are not of color to be able to understand why those of color are in the middle of an uphill battle that expands back further than we can really trace. Regardless of what some think, racism is something that is taught to our children, not something that they are born with. Teaching them what it means to be racist, the hurt that it has caused people of color in the past and currently, and the effects that it leaves on both parties is something that holds a great importance.

Whether you're looking for a way to start the discussion on racism or deliver more history on the fight people of color have endured throughout time, these 10 books will help accomplish what you need.


'Pink and Say' by Patricia Polacco

Patricia Polacco's Pink and Say is an exceptional story based around the Civil War that details a story of a black family who put their life in danger to care for a young white boy who was wounded. Great for taking a small look into racism, Polacco's book will help your children see just how dangerous it was to be caring as a person of color.

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'Sister Anne's Hands' by Marybeth Lorbiecki

Based in the early 1960s, Sister Anne's Hands reveals the fight that people of color endured, even when they were only trying to help children learn.

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'This Is Our House' by Michael Rosen

Subtle yet meaningful, Michael Rosen's This Is Our House shows children what being excluded based on certain things feels like.

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'The Jacket' by Andrew Clements

The Jacket by Andrew Clements tells a story that many children of color have experienced with being accused of something negative based off of their skin color. Delivering a walk into a well-needed learning opportunity, The Jacket is a great book for showing children the ugly truth about prejudice encounters.

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'Under The Same Sky' by Cynthia DeFelice

Under the Same Sky tells a perfect story of white privilege and entitlement when 14-year-old Joe Pedersen is forced to work on his father's farm with the hired Mexican laborers. An important story on racism and truth, Cynthia DeFelice's look into how those that are different than us is well needed within today's youth.

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'The Other Side' by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson's The Other Side is a story of a friendship not held by the restraints of color and displays a very realistic lesson on how racism is taught to the youth.

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'The Story Of Ruby Bridges' by Robert Coles

The Story of Ruby Bridges is a book that tells the true story of six-year-old Ruby Bridges, who became the only black child in an all white New Orleans school. Facing mobs of parents who refuse to let their children learn alongside of them, Ruby's courage, fight, and strength is a great realization that the mistreatment of people of color has no age limit.

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'Let Them Play' by Margot Theis Raven

Another true story surrounded around segregation, Margot Theis Raven's civil rights story Let Them Play teaches children about equality and displays how ignorance and bigotry can cost you what you desire most.

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'The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963' by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Watson's Go to Birmingham - 1963 gives a look into the horrific and historical burning of the Sixteenth Avenue Baptist Church with four little girls inside through the eyes of a young boy.

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'Ruth and The Green Book' by Calvin Alexander Ramsey

Calvin Alexander Ramsey's book Ruth and the Green Book unveils the unfortunate treatment of blacks through the eyes of young Ruth who travels with her family from Chicago to Alabama using the help of The Green Book.

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