As part of News & Notes’ month-long series on race, Farai Chideya takes an in-depth look at how kids develop a racial consciousness.
For insight, she speaks first with Christia Brown, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky.
Then, we hear from Marti Guzman, a mother of two bi-racial children living in Anchorage, Alaska.
Plus, independent journalist Sara Catania opens up about her childhood as one of the only whites at a predominantly black Chicago school.
Behind the story: In the mornings at NPR, we usually are scrambling to get our stories done right before we go to air. For some reason or another, I had a little more time for this story, so I decided to go the extra mile. I wanted to find an African American who had been raised in predominantly white neighborhood to talk about what it was like to grow up in a place where no one looked like you. So, I aimed for the whitest place I could think of: Alaska.
After calling around in Alaska, I found Marti, a sweet woman who worked at a local elementary school. We chatted for a while about Alaska and her experience raising her bi-racial kids there, when she coyly dropped some information on me: Alaska is very racially diverse. With many different indigenous peoples, Russians, Asians, Latinos, and everyone in between, Alaska was as multicultural as it comes.
Now as for Maine, that’s another story.