I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World

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This superb, rational, and highly readable volume answers adeeply felt need. Parents and educators alike have long struggledto understand what meanings race might have for the very young, andfor ways to insure that every child grows up with a healthy senseof self. Marguerite Wright handles sensitive issues with consummateclarity, practicality, and hope. Here we have an indispensableguide that will doubtless prove a classic. --Edward Zigler, sterling professor of psychology and director,Yale Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy A child's concept of race is quite different from that of anadult. Young children perceive skin color as magical--evenchangeable--and unlike adults, are incapable of understanding adultpredjudices surrounding race and racism. Just as children learn towalk and talk, they likewise come to understand race in a series ofpredictable stages. Based on Marguerite A. Wright's research and clinicalexperience, I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla teaches us thatthe color-blindness of early childhood can, and must, be takenadvantage of in order to guide the positive development of achild's self-esteem. Wright answers some fundamental questions about children andrace including: * What do children know and understand about the color of theirskin? * When do children understand the concept of race? * Are there warning signs that a child is being adverselyaffected by racial prejudice? * How can adults avoid instilling in children their own negativeperceptions and prejudices? * What can parents do to prepare their children to overcome theracism they are likely to encounter? * How can schools lessen the impact of racism? With wisdom and compassion, I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla spellsout how to educate black and biracial children about race, whilepreserving their innate resilience and optimism--the birthright ofall children.