Children are the Future

A Few Facts and References About the Video

The experiment preformed is based on the Doll Test which was conducted in the 1940s. The Doll Test was used to study the effects of segregation on black children. During the Doll Test, children were presented with two dolls identical in features, except one doll was white and the other black. When asked to choose a doll, most of the children chose the white doll despite acknowledging there own resemblance to the black doll. Overall, the black children saw the white doll more positively than the black doll, bringing to light feelings of self-hatred and perceived inferiority caused by society's structure. The Doll Test was used in Brown v. Board of Education and thus helped to end segregation in our schools. More information on the Doll Test as well as Brown v. Board of Education can be found here. Also, read the post "Difference: Spotlight on the Current State of Race in Public Schools" for more on how race plays a role in the United States' schools currently.

A Personal Experience

If you've read some of my other posts on racism in America, you know that race was first brought to my attention at the tender age of four by a white classmate. As a child growing up in South Carolina, I witnessed many occasions where older whites--the grandmothers and grandfathers of my generation--were teaching young children racism. At one point, while stopped at a red light, the man in the car beside us pointed to my family and told his granddaughter "those are n*****s." I spent most of my teenage years believing that racists were merely products of racist parents who had brainwashed their children in to similar beliefs. It wasn't until I grew older, met more people, and visited more places, that I began to notice a distinct correlation between the diversity of the people in a child's life and their views on diversity.

Like many black families, the skin color of my family members varies from very dark to passing for white. My family already had at least one interracial marriage by the time I was born: my uncle's wife at the time, and the mother of three of my first cousins, is Puerto-Rican. The first interracial wedding in my family that I actually witnessed occurred when I was four--I was even the flower girl. The aunt I gained from this marriage is Vietnamese, though she was raised by a white American family. I have two first cousins from this family. By the time I was in middle school, my older cousins had gotten married and had children. Many of them also married people of a different race and had multi-racial children. As you can imagine, family reunions for my family are quite diverse. Perhaps that's why at four years old I didn't see anything unusual about having different skin colors.

In graduate school, as I began to meet blacks who had attended HBCUs and predominately black high-schools. Many of them were as apprehensive about whites as the whites I'd met who attended predominately white schools their whole life. The video above speaks volumes to what I have personally experienced. While I have clearly witnessed the teaching of racism to small children, I do believe that growing up in a diverse (and by diverse I don't just mean black and white, I'm talking about everybody here) environment from a early age is a key ingredient to raising a compassionate and accepting human being.


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