This one goes out to all my Boston parents who are trying to build a world where anti-racism is a heartbeat, not merely a hashtag...
To those seeking to dismantle unjust systems on the outside, and to dismantle unhelpful mindsets within...
To the ones who are listening twice as much as they speak…
To all those whose who trying to cultivate anti-racism in the next generation…
Happy month after Black History Month, Boston Baby Photos friends. For all the drawbacks of symbolic Blackness that I know last month’s Black History Month engenders, I feel as though I am a part of living a vibrant Multi-Racial History in the Making with the clients and community members I have the pleasure of knowing and working alongside - last month, this month and every month.
So I’m turning the spotlight on some of them to share what I hope are insights that will help to inform and uplift your own work and journey in anti-racist parenting.
I also reached out to them because I had a conversation in my Boston Families Together Facebook VIP Group planned and I thought sharing these videos in my social media would be a great way to encourage people to come to watch the interview.
Before I get to the videos, here's the advertisement I put up prior to my interview with Rachel Nance Wade, author of "Here's What Matters To Me, The Mother Of Your Child's Black Friend".
I'll post the 30 minute interview at the bottom of this page for you.
In anticipation of the interview, I asked some Boston Baby Photos clients to answer a question for me that I pulled directly from Rachel's article.
“If you could design the conversation that white parents have with their kids about race, what would it sound like?”
And here's what they said...
Lots of fodder for our conversation, as you can tell. Thank you Lorenda, Liza, Kim, Luisa, and Renisha for taking the time to think about this question and creating these videos for me.
Finally, just a few resources, as you know hawking resources is my jam...
I'd like to start by thanking another one of my clients, Gretchen Cook-Anderson, an educator in this space who shared a zoom session with me that she led for Parent Talk and NeedhamDiversity.org as part of a lecture series this past fall. The zoom session was 3 hours of extraordinarily rich conversation and content about this topic, and in this session she pointed the attendees to some additional resources she said I could share here as well.
First a few important words from Gretchen's zoom recording:
And then some resources she shared...
I just absolutely adored Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum's Ted Talk (Is My Skin Brown Because I Drank Chocolate Milk?)
NYTimes Kids Books about Racism & Protest (helpful, sorted by age)
And specifically, books-wise, she mentions Howard Zinn's A Young People's History of the United States (Gretchen says for kids as young as 7-8, Amazon targets 10-15... but it's just good stuff)
And I knew about this one - it's sitting on my desk right now, in fact... last summer's How To Be An AntiRacist Board Book by (my alma mater BU's) Ibram X. Kendi
ABC's What Would You Do? (good show to watch to spark conversation with kids)
Facing History And Ourselves (uses lessons of history to challenge teachers & students to stand up to bigotry and hate)
And last but not least, a few BIPOC-owned businesses whose owners I find inspirational and just all around fabulous around Greater Boston:
My wonderful friend, social worker and brilliant businesswoman Angel Lee from Fusion Dolls, of course. Her company's mission is to spread diversity, awareness, and encourage our children to love themselves inside and out. I am a forever fan of her dolls, and can't recommend them highly enough. Here's a link to Angel's Fusion Dolls Instagram.
Startup consultant and really fab leader-of-people Drew Duperval. He runs Young Hustlers Under 40 and his networking events are just fantastic. He describes it as: "YHU40 is an entrepreneur development network that helps entrepreneurs save time, scale their business, and expand their network through events and accountability coaching." If you run a small business I'd highly recommend making a connection with Drew, he knows his stuff. You can follow Drew on Instagram here.
The best trainer you could ever ask for = hands-down, Stanley Porter. He is just the very best, and here's a bit of intro from him: "I am a personal trainer and nutrition coach who specializes in taking the frustration out of fitness. My programs are full of motivational dialogue, and include personalized steps to make each individual's exercise and nutrition journey more meaningful. My unique approach is perhaps rooted in my many years of service as a Boston Public Schools Teacher, and church minister. Currently I train clients at Luna Fitness in Dorchester, online via video conferencing, and I also to travel to meet clients in their homes. I am the author of two books: Every Song Has a Story and The Weight Is Over, both available on Amazon." Connect with Stanley here.
My new friend and immediate business buddy Mishell Ekunsirinde owns Stina & Mae, a local maker of organic snuggle blankets, nursing pads and bibs & burp cloths. She's coming into my new Year One Together Facebook Group next week to talk about Dressing Your Baby for Boston Weather, and I can't wait to have the time to chat with her there. Mishell also did an Instagram Live this past summer with Nakeia Smith, certified school psychologist and educational specialist titled "How to Talk to Children About Racism" that I found extremely valuable. So definitely follow Mishell on Instagram, too.
Thanks for reading, and to use Gretchen Cook-Anderson's fantastic homemade word, I can only hope that this inspires you to be inclusivists.
To quote her zoom session powerpoint, "An inclusivist believes there's an inherent value in inclusion for everyone and actively and intentionally fosters a sense of community and workplace that welcomes, includes and is responsive to people of all backgrounds." Inclusive + Activist = Inclusivist
And without further ado, here's the 30 minute interview video:
And we're talking about how to continue this conversation.
A few of the women whose videos are included above and I are thinking about next steps for this, because we obviously only scratched the surface in a 30 minute conversation.
If you'd like to be involved in thinking more about this with us, please email me, I'd love to get more people involved.
We had this conversation in my new Facebook group called "Boston Families Together".
I do live interviews every other week in the group with people who impress me, with a focus on people who help address pain points for families. I also do photoshoot raffles and giveaways in there, of course.
Upcoming conversations include:
I'm Jessica McDaniel, and May 2021 will mark my 18th anniversary photographing babies and their families all around Boston.
BBP Demo Video
- Rehoboth, MA: One Year Old at the Horse Farm November 2, 2021
- Sherborn, MA: Fall fun in the woods October 25, 2021
- Quincy, MA: One year old at the playground with her mamas October 14, 2021