Does talking about race make you racist?

The Embrace Race Podcast

04-03-2024 • 41 mins

One child says to another: “Your skin is darker than mine” or “Why are your eyes that shape?” You overhear them. How do you react? Too often, adults shush kids when they talk about race because they don’t want them to “say things that are racist.”

In this episode, hosts Melissa and Andrew speak with Brigitte Vittrup, a developmental psychologist who studies how kids are socialized around race, about why avoiding conversations about race is actually harmful for all kids. They talk about how kids learn about race, why guiding children on matters of race is necessary, and give tips on how to do it.

Professor Brigitte Vittrup is a developmental psychologist and chair of the Department of Human Development, Family Studies and Counseling at Texas Woman’s University. Her research deals with child and family issues, including racial socialization, racial attitudes, and media influences on children.

The EmbraceRace Podcast is an extension of the work of EmbraceRace, a community of support for caregivers, parents, educators, and other adults in the lives of kids who strive to be informed, thoughtful and brave about race so that their kids can be too. At EmbraceRace, we create and curate the tools, community spaces, and networks we all need to raise a generation of kids who are resilient, empathetic, critical thinkers on race and who are committed to racial justice.