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Children and Race

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Fri 27 Oct, 2006 09:29 am
My daughters love this one particular movie - "The Color of Friendship". I think mainly they love the two young teenage girls in the movie. For anyone unfamiliar with the movie, it is loosely based upon a true story where a black American family invites a foreign exchange student from South Africa to stay with them expecting of course a black South African. However, it is a white South African. The other big twist is that the American dad is a senator fighting for the rights of black South Africans during Apartheid.

My daughters are 7 and 4 and really do not understand the concept of Apartheid. As a matter of fact when they described anyone - they usually described their hair color first and rarely mention skin color. To them color of skin is no different than hair or eye color.

When I tried to explain it to them about Apartheid - how people with black skin were not able to do and have the same things as people with white skin, they looked at me completely confused; almost as if I told them the sky was green or something. On the one hand, I was very happy that my daughters are so ignorant of hatred simply because of some one's race. On the other hand how do you explain such concepts? And how do you do so while keeping their current feelings about race?
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Oct, 2006 12:04 pm
I don't have any advice for you, but your post reminded me of a song from the show, "South Pacific", "You Have To Be Carefully Taught". The song talks about how children are not born with prejudice, but are schooled in it by the society around them.

Could not find all the words to the lyrics to this song, but here is an excerpt.


Quote:
You have to be taught

Before it's too late.

Before you are six or seven or eight

to hate all the people your relatives hate.
You have to be carefully taught.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Oct, 2006 12:23 pm
Scary thought - but for some families probably true.

I just love that right now they do not see any differences and cannot even understand the concept of prejudice. I would like to be able bottle they way they are right now and keep it.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Oct, 2006 12:28 pm
I don't think you can keep them color-blind and explain this stuff. The question is then whether color-blindness is the ultimate goal.

I think that recognition of difference can be a positive thing as long as it is done in a positive way. I see it as part of general teachings about different cultures more than different skin colors per se; Jewish, American Indian, India-Indian, etc., etc.

We had a book about Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad and talked about slavery about a year ago, when sozlet was 4 -- she was shocked and apalled but it didn't seem to affect her interaction with black friends of hers.

It's a delicate balance though, I agree.
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Oct, 2006 12:38 pm
I remembered this from a few years ago:

Sozobe and the Sozlet discuss race
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Oct, 2006 12:45 pm
(I'd forgotten about that, eoe!)

I agree with Craven's comments there about just interacting with a variety of people being a powerful teacher.
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Oct, 2006 01:07 pm
Phoenix32890 wrote:
I don't have any advice for you, but your post reminded me of a song from the show, "South Pacific", "You Have To Be Carefully Taught". The song talks about how children are not born with prejudice, but are schooled in it by the society around them.

Could not find all the words to the lyrics to this song, but here is an excerpt.


Quote:
You have to be taught

Before it's too late.

Before you are six or seven or eight

to hate all the people your relatives hate.
You have to be carefully taught.

I was in that musical. I played Nellie.
Very Happy

The lyrics are: (sung by a white officer about a native island girl)

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught
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jiminjeff
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 May, 2008 05:39 pm
South Pacific's "You Have To Be Taught"
Sorry for this tardy reply to your Oct 2006 post (your lyrics to "You Have To Be Taught").

South Pacific is/was my all-time fave musical (stage or screen). Thanks for posting the lyrics to "Taught" (in your Oct 2006) here.

I wonder today...are you Mitzi Gaynor? Or one of several stage stars portraying Nellie: Mary Martin, Reba McEntyre, Laureen Kennedy, Helena Blackman, Kelli O'Hara? Of course, Nellie has also been done by myriad others over the years. It's a great role (and a great story).

I am super-glad production folks mostly stood firm, and included "Taught" in both screen and most stage productions of South Pacific.

- Jim Fleming, mid-Missouri.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2022 10:20 pm
Funny or not we just watched this movie again this past week my daughter now 23 put in on again to watch.

I do think that this generation color is less a concern ....at least what. J see they aren't as uptight on this stiff..there is hope.
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