February 17, 2021

Introducing Anti-Racism to Your Kids with Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum

As parents, we aim to raise our children to be good people. Inclusive, respectful people that help move humanity forward. To do this, we have to have open, honest and sometimes difficult conversations about issues that our country and society faces. Simply stating “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you” is not enough.

In this episode of Yoga| Birth| Babies, I speak with clinical psychologist, author of the book Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria and former president of Spelman College, Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum. In this important conversation Dr. Tatum helps define anti-racism, prejudice, and white privilege. She offers insight into ways people may be complacent, unknowingly moving towards racism, and how “well meaning” parents contribute to systemic racism. 

Children are not inherently born racist and Dr. Tatum gives solid starting points to talk to kids of all ages about racism. 

In this episode:

  • Learn about Dr Tatum and what inspired her to write her book Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together In the Cafeteria .
  • Defining the difference between prejudice and racism.
  • Defining anti-racism.
  • What is white privilege?
  • The age when children start to notice differences/different races?
  • The disservice it does society and our children to assume your kids are “color blind”.
  • The chocolate milk story. 
  • Selective inattention and the consequences of that. 
  • Understanding the ways in which racism operates in one’s life, and what one could do about it as it will influence our children? 
  • Sources of resistances and hesitation of addressing race and racism.
  • Ways to talk to children about racism, especially if parents are uncomfortable about this conversation – for both younger and older children.
  • How “well meaning” parents are contributing to systemic racism.
  • How can parents change the narrative and help create an anti-racist environment? 
  • Suggestions for navigating family gatherings where kids may hear relatives making racist jokes or comments.
  • The 3 F’s 
  • One tip/piece advice for new or expectant parents.
  • Where to find Dr. Tatums work! 

Additional Resources: 

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About Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, President Emerita, Spelman College

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College, is a clinical psychologist widely known for both her expertise on race relations and as a thought leader in higher education.  Her thirteen years as the president of Spelman College (2002-2015) were marked by innovation and growth and her visionary leadership was recognized in 2013 with the Carnegie Academic Leadership Award.  The author of several books including the best-selling “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”and Other Conversations About Race (now in a new 2017 20th anniversary edition) and Can We Talk About Race? and Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation (2007), Tatum is a sought-after speaker on the topics of racial identity development, race and education, strategies for creating inclusive campus environments, and higher education leadership.  In 2005 Dr. Tatum was awarded the prestigious Brock International Prize in Education for her innovative leadership in the field.   A Fellow of the American Psychological Association, she was the 2014 recipient of the APA Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology.  

A civic leader in the Atlanta community, Dr. Tatum is engaged in educational initiatives designed to expand educational opportunity for underserved students and their families.  In Atlanta she serves on the governing boards of the Westside Future Fund, Achieve Atlanta, Morehouse College, and the Tull Charitable Foundation. She is also on the boards of Smith College and the Educational Testing Service. 

She holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Wesleyan University, and M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan as well as an M.A. in Religious Studies from Hartford Seminary.  Over the course of her career, she has served as a faculty member at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Westfield State University, and Mount Holyoke College. Prior to her 2002 appointment as president of Spelman, she served as dean and acting president at Mount Holyoke College.  In Spring 2017 she was the Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor at Stanford University.  She is married to Dr. Travis Tatum; they are the parents of two adult sons.

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