Recently I was invited to the launch of Children Visible by Colour by Kowetha at Kingsley Village. This launch also showcased Kowetha’s excellent book of the same title which gives suggestions for parents and carers raising black minority ethnic (BME) and dual heritage children who are ‘visible by colour.’ This book was also compiled in partnership with Bernardo’s.
The book gives suggestions for parents and carers raising BME, dual heritage children who are visible by colour. It is an excellent book which gives clear advice in a series of chapters. These include
- Affirming our children’s identity
- the impact of racism: supporting yourself, supporting your child
- supporting our children at school
- supporting our families in the community
- connecting with other families
According to the last school census* which takes place every January, there were in total 3929 (11.1%) pupils recorded as BME in Cornwall’s Primary and Secondary Schools. This is further broken down by 2403 pupils recorded as BME in the Primary School setting (6.0% of all pupils) and 1526 pupils recorded as BME in Secondary Schools setting (5.1% of all Secondary pupils). This is an increase on previous years. In fact less than 4% of schools have no BME pupils.
This is why books like Children Visible by Colour are so important to families; as it helps families deal with day-to-day situations which sadly, can still be of the racist tone. A comment by one of the Kowetha parents shows how far we have come with dealing with racism, but not far enough. The comment is:
The worst thing you can do is to ignore racism and then wait for your child to experience it on their own
Therefore it is a must we able to have positive discussions about racial difference with all our children. It includes promoting good and empowering messages about their colour and ethnic heritage. This includes enabling children to speak confidently about it to their friends and peer groups. This is important as research clearly shows that children not only recognize race from a very young age, but also develop racial biases by ages three to five**. This book very much helps address these subjects.
If you would like more information about Kowetha you can visit their website HERE or email them – firstname.lastname@example.org
*School Census January 2014
**Children are not colour-blind: how young children learn race – Winkler 2009