13 Social Media Accounts To Help Educate Yourself About Race As A Parent
Supporting Black Lives Matter and the Black community means not only taking part in the ongoing fight for racial equality in America, but teaching your kids to do the same. Most of us have a lot more to learn when it comes to our part in dismantling racist systems and raising the next generation to do a better job that our own. Social media, for all its faults, can be a great place to find, follow, and learn from educators and activists doing incredible anti-racism work online.
Maybe you've been wanting to do more for a long time and the current state of affairs has galvanized you into action, or maybe the latest news helped open your eyes to a shocking reality that you can't deny. Or maybe you've been actively trying to teach your kids how to be allies from the start. There's always more to learn, more to do. And there's no time to waste.
"In white families, we cannot wait to talk about [race] with our children because segregation is so deep that if we just wait, it will never come up," Jennifer Harvey, author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children In A Racially Unjust America, told NPR. "And I started doing that work with my own children before they even had words, really." In order for real change to happen, every parent needs to follow Harvey's lead. No matter how uncomfortable it might be at first, these are the conversations that need to happen. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it's a great place to start.
1. Conscious Kid
The Conscious Kid is an advocacy program with the mission of educating youth and teaching parents how to talk to their kids about race (but there's an abundance of information for adults, too). On their social media pages, they share resources, current events, and thought-provoking visuals to help parents understand what bias looks like in everyday life and how to raise anti-racist children.
2. White Homework
Writer, speaker, anti-racist educator, and mom Tori Williams Douglass created White Homework "because people kept asking me what THEY should do and my answer was always, 'That depends,'" Douglass explained in a post. Her social media accounts are thought-provoking and informative, and you can also sign up for White Homework courses on her website or Patreon, created "to help people narrow down their own antiracist work in their own context."
3. Teaching Tolerance
This is another organization aiming to educate youth on bias and diversity. Teaching Tolerance is primarily for teachers and other leaders, but their social media pages (on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) provide educational content that adults can also appreciate and learn from (and pass on to their own children).
4. Black Coffee With White Friends
Marcie Alvis Walker is the writer and mother behind Black Coffee with White Friends, created for "earnest seekers with earnest questions," as Walker wrote on her blog of the same name. Walker provides a wealth of critical (but often overlooked) moments in black history, because, as she said in a post, "We cannot do anti-racist work without knowing our history. How else would we know what needs to be undone, unlearned, unearthed and released unless we know what history is being taught and what’s not being taught?" Check out the Cream & Sugar Book Club book with your kid; the latest pick is the young adult novel Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes.
5. Dream Defenders
Founded in April 2012 after the murder of 17-year old Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, The Dream Defenders are a multi-racial group fighting for equality and awareness. Their social media pages (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) are filled with stories to bring awareness and information on how to get in touch with lawmakers; the group also offers weekly digital political education series.
6. From Privilege To Progress
After two strangers (a white woman and a Black woman) witnessed and recorded the wrongful arrest of two black men at a Starbucks, they became friends and launched From Privilege to Progress. Their "Show Up" movement is all about bringing races together to fight against inequality, with an educational angle that parents are sure to find helpful.
7. Color of Change
Color of Change is a campaign designing organization that only creates content that will move the black community forward. Their social media feeds (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) share current events and thoughts from people within the community in addition to their own campaigns that are full of stats and information on US/State policies.
8. Ibram X. Kendi
A #1 New York Times bestselling author and the Founding Director of The Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University in Washington, DC, Ibram X. Kendi was also the youngest winner ever of the National Book Award for nonfiction for his book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. A dad himself, Kendi's new (and first) board book, Antiracist Baby, is coming out on June 16 and will be an invaluable resource for parents of little ones: "Antiracist Baby is bred, not born. Antiracist Baby is raised to make society transform." Follow Kendi's accounts for educational resources, talking points, and facts that every parent should know.
9. Rachel Cargle
Rachel Cargle is a writer, educator, influencer, activist, and so much more. On her social media pages you'll find all kinds of content including news updates, poignant retweets, and words that will make you take a step back and reflect. Her posts will help you become aware of biased behaviors you might not realize you're even doing and open your eyes to injustice.
10. Ibi Zoboi
National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author of young adult books including "American Street," "My Life As An Ice Cream Sandwich" and Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America, Ibi Zoboi's Instagram account is another important follow. From book recommendations to eye-opening facts and quotes, you'll find so much to share with your kids.
11. Layla F. Saad
As the author of the NYT bestseller Me and White Supremacy and host of the Good Ancestors podcast, Layla F. Saad is committed to educating all generations about race, identity, and how to make social change happen. Her posts will make you and your kids think about your place in society, with journaling prompts such as: "How have you centered yourself as a person with white privilege in nonwhite spaces and conversations?"
12. Julee Wilson
As Cosmopolitan's Beauty Director (and the former Global Beauty Director at Essence), Julee Wilson's Instagram account has been called a "beacon of positivity" (by Coveteur), and you can expect to see plenty of guest appearances from similarly fabulous role models such as Yvonne Orji and Misty Copeland, not to mention her adorable son Orion.
13. Ijeoma Oluo
The author of So You Want To Talk About Race?, Seattle-based writer and speaker Ijeoma Oluo's Instagram account is a great place to learn how to, well, talk about race. Named one of The Root's 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2017, Oluo's thoughtful posts will steer you in the right direction.