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Melissa Starker, Creative Content & PR Manager
Oct 14, 2020
In June, PBS launched a new series for children in which real kids and their parents or caretakers discuss things that everyone encounters as part of growing up and discovering oneself, and which aren't always easy to navigate. The show, PBS Kids Talk About, has covered topics like feelings and emotions, developing confidence and courage, and the importance of building relationships.
The latest episode takes on a subject that's all too timely and especially sticky—race and racism. Available as a whole episode on YouTube as well as through the PBS Kids portal on the network's website, the segment is hosted by Amanda Gorman, America's first National Youth Poet Laureate. She sets up short conversations between kids of different races and nationalities and their family members with clips from relevant episodes of PBS favorites like Arthur and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. They talk about skin tones and the various cultures reflected in their family's respective makeups, cover a brief history of racism and civil rights with a guest appearance by an animated Congressman John Lewis, and consider how they can affect change through their own actions.
Though the episode is geared toward grade school-aged kids, the innocence of the young participants and the thoughtful ways their parents engage in the subject create a connection beyond the target audience. They take us out of the debates over systemic racism, heated by an election year and the murders that inspired people to take to the streets around the world, and back to the basic idea that treating people differently because of their skin color is simply unfair and wrong. They remind us that it's better and smarter to focus on our similarities, and how we're all part of the same human race.
Alongside the child-friendly video portal on PBS.org, there's a site for parents with great resources for continuing the conversation started by the episode.
Watch the full episode of PBS Kids Talk About: Race & Racism on YouTube.
Parents, check out more resources for talking to kids about race and racism from PBS.org.
Image courtesy of PBS
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