Where is Humanity for A Girl Like Me? 27 January, 2007Posted by paralleldivergence in children, education, Life, My Thoughts, Politics, racism.
When people run a project, an essential part of the success of that project is ongoing review. What did we do right? What did we do wrong? What could we have done better? Those evaluations and recommendations then must be applied to future projects to ensure progress. Why as a society would we not apply that same concept to our children? While it is our job to teach children, we must also listen to them and learn from them.
The old principle, “Children should be seen and not heard” is akin to placing blinkers on a society’s future. Certainly, our children are precious and need nurturing, but their thoughts and perceptions are also direct evidence of what they have learned from us and should never be ignored.
One of these children, 17 year-old Kiri Davis, a high school student from New York, decided to make a short documentary in 2006 to capture the thoughts and perceptions of her peers and even from infants in her neighborhood. In the 1940s an experiment was conducted where black children were offered a black doll and a white doll, and then were asked which one they thought was better. Back then, they overwhelmingly chose the white doll. In her film, “A Girl Like Me“, Davis recreated that experiment and asked four and five year-old children at a Harlem school the same question.
She found that the children’s answers were not that different. In Davis’ test, 15 of the 21 children said that the white doll was good and pretty, and that the black doll was bad. It seems little has changed in 60 years when you refer to the grass roots of racism. What hope have we got when black children as young as four and five already have it burned into their minds that white children are better than them?
Please take some time to watch and think about Kiri Davis’ provocative seven-minute documentary, “A Girl Like Me“. Then if you have a comment, tell us – Where do we go from here?