First grade conversation about race overheard
Children in Mimi's class have been telling stories about themselves as they get to know one another early in the school year. In a recent conversation the 6- and 7-year-olds began talking about race and color. Mimi recorded some of what she overheard.
“My grandma prays in Korean so I don't understand what she's saying.”
“I'm Farsi. My parents were born there.”
“I'm English, too! Hey, I'm from Oregon and I think my mom and my dad are from Oregon, too, so how did I get English?"
“WAIT a minute! I'm ASIAN!”
Several other voices: So am I!”
“Hmmm, my mom was born in Chicago and I'm Korean?”
“I'm the same color as you (Mimi) are.”
“So am I. I'm Chinese, too."
Meanwhile, kids are bopping around on the rug holding their arms to one another's comparing skin colors and making lively comments about similarities and differences. At one point, I nudged the conversation a bit by asking, "Is skin color important?" which was immediately answered by a chorus of "Yes!" and "No!" Lively discussion followed.
“No, it's not. It's not! Eye color is wayyyyyyyyy more important than skin color. If you have blue eyes then you are blonde and if you are blonde then you can't see!”