Mirroring the unfinished work of adults.
Which of these is the smart child? Which is the ugly child? Which of these is the color that adults like? These are the questions asked of four to ten year olds in a pilot study to observe their views on race, sixty years after the doll study that helped reverse Brown v. Board of Education, ending segregation in schools.
Anderson Cooper and Soledad O’ Brien’s special report “Black and White Kids On Race In America” airs tonight at 10pm. It is the first night of a weeklong series on the state of children on race, and what we can do to alter mixed messages.
The children who participated in the study attended diverse schools. Despite integrated schools, 77% of white five year olds pointed to the darkest child as the dumbest child. Black children still lean toward a white bias, but at a much lower percentage than the initial study of the 1940s. Mixed children do well in diverse settings, but often feel rejected when they’re in mostly black or mostly white settings . Children have open minded views when their parents speak to them openly about race when they are very young.
For more on the study, tune in to CNN tonight at 10pm.