Parents' Guide to

PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism

By Ashley Moulton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 3+

Fabulous special helps young kids confront, discuss racism.

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This special is an excellent tool for grown-ups who want to talk about race and anti-racism with kids as young as three but aren't sure where to start. PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism is aimed at kids, and the combination of using clips from PBS Kids shows and showing real kids age talking about these topics with their parents is a winning one. The educational experts who consulted on the show did a fantastic job of making these very abstract concepts relatable to preschoolers (though kindergartners and up will be able to comprehend the topics on a deeper level). If grown-ups and kids watch together, it can open the door to having non-awkward conversations about racism in real life. And while the show is ostensibly for kids, it models useful vocabulary and talking points adults can add to their playbooks.

The special meets kids where they're at developmentally, first asking if kids have ever noticed the color of their own skin, then progressing to more nuanced topics throughout the show. The overall message is an antidote to the "colorblind" ethos taught to many kids over the years, which experts believe is detrimental to kids' understanding of race. The special talks about how it's okay to notice and celebrate differences between each other, while at the same time understanding that everyone's equal and should be treated fairly. It emphasizes that racism still exists today, but it's a lot better than it used to be and will continue to get better if we all do our part.

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