Racial prejudice is something we learn. We are not born with it.
At Caribu, we use stories to teach children life lessons, open up their world to new places, and teach them about their culture and the cultures of others. Sadly, recent incidents of violence against the Black community are nothing new. Still, we may sometimes struggle to find the words to have the difficult, but necessary, conversations with children about the treatment of Black Americans. Now is not the time to be silent. Now is the time to actively do the work.
The work starts with the stories we share, and the discussions we have, with children. This week’s events sound an urgent call to expand our library to include more anti-racist books and texts authored by people of color. We can do better. We commit to adding new books authored by people of color and adding more anti-racist stories that teach children and their families how to take action. We will continue to feature underrepresented voices and stories, and seek out authors that are committed to these goals as well.
We’ve intentionally chosen to use the term “anti-racist.” As Angela Davis said, “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” We should not shy away from conversations about race. With children especially, we should use appropriate resources to help them explore, learn, and ask questions.
We need to have these courageous conversations now: our cities are literally and figuratively burning, and families need access to high-quality, anti-racist content to spark dialogue while their public libraries are closed.
On June 8, we’ll be kicking off #CampCaribu, the world’s first summer reading program that you can experience together in a video-call. It will include 100 days of activities, featured books, and weekly themed reading categories with challenges and prizes. It’s 100 days of summer reading in your pocket.
We’ve chosen to kick off the reading camp with ‘Courageous Conversations: Anti-Racism’ as the first weekly theme. We will feature books from our library that offer stories to help families start meaningful conversations about what it means to be anti-racist. We will continue to add more books to the category as we source and license them this summer.
For current users, you’ll receive the weekly list of summer reading activities in our e-mail newsletter. For new users who want to participate in #CampCaribu, go to caribu.com/summer to download the app, create an account, and then enjoy our in-app library with your little ones. Our in-app library includes 1000+ books, games, activities, and coloring sheets, in eight languages, for kids to immediately use in a Caribu Call with a friend or family member.
This is a tough time for everyone to be apart. With COVID still raging, we believe our interactive platform is an essential option for children to be able to read critical content and have courageous conversations with a trusted adult, no matter how physically distant they are.
Please share this initiative with your friends, families, and networks. We welcome your feedback, your advice, and your book recommendations, and we hope we can be a small part of the courageous conversations happening with children about race in America, and across the globe.
CEO + Co-Founder
Resources For Anti-Racist Conversations With Young Children
- National Museum of African-American History and Culture: “Talking About Race”
- NPR Podcast: “Talking Race With Young Children”
- Brightly/Penguin Random House: “How to Diversify Your Child’s Bookshelf”
- Common Sense Media: “How White Parents Can Use Media to Raise Anti-Racist Kids”
- DC Area Educators for Social Justice: “Early Childhood and Elementary Resources”
- Facing History and Ourselves: “Resources for Bearing Witness: The Death of George Floyd”
- Black Lives Matter at School Resource: “Talking About Race, Standing Together, Arts and Activism”
- Black Lives Matter Adult Resources
- Embracerace.org: Resources for “raising children in a world where race matters”
Anti-Racist Booklists And More
- Here Wee Read
- The Brown Bookshelf
- The Conscious Kid
- 31 children’s books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance
- NY Times: “These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protest to Your Kids”
- Coretta Scott King award-winning children’s books
- Award-winning children’s books about the African-American experience
- Twitter: “Children’s Books That Discuss Race and Racism” Thread
- No Time for Flashcards (Classroom Materials and Toys)