Lift-the-flap questions and answers about racism by Jordan Akpojaro and Ashley Evans

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While the issue of racism has bubbled along in the background of schools for decades, the recent rise and focus on the Black Lives Matter movement has brought it forward into the lounge rooms and lives of our students and many have many questions. This is to be expected if we accept the premise that 'race is not a natural, biologically grounded feature of physically distinct subgroups of human beings but a socially constructed (culturally invented) category that is used to oppress and exploit people of colour' particularly when 'race' itself is defined as 'the idea that the human species is divided into distinct groups on the basis of inherited physical and behavioral differences.' (Britannica, 2022)

Therefore this book is a timely release that uses a simple lift-the-flap technique to answer children's questions in a way that they will understand. For example, while the Britannica definition can be easily unpacked by an adult here it is explained as 'treating people differently and unfairly based on their skin colour, where they're from, their religion or their family traditions.'

From 'What's wrong with the idea of 'race'? and 'Why is life harder for people with darker skin?' to 'Don't ALL lives matter?' and 'What's racism got to do with me?' this book tackles powerful, pertinent questions in a direct, accessible and thought-provoking way. Even if the reader has not encountered racism, they learn why it is everyone's problem to solve, and how we can all be part of the solution.

There is also a blog post that offers guidance about how to talk to children about racism because "even by the age of two children begin to notice skin colour and other differences in appearance" and there are also the usual Quicklinks to help the reader understand more deeply.

Themes: Racism.

Barbara Braxton