What Happens When Minority Kids Are Taught Not to Talk About Race

An interesting new study in Social Psychology and Personality Science sheds some light on how color-blindness may affect minority kids. The authors, Kristin Pauker of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Evan P. Apfelbaum of MIT, and Brian Spitzer of NYU, start by explaining that there’s good reason to think minority kids don’t benefit from a color-blind approach: a body of research has shown that “race is central to their identities, a source of psychological well-being, and a lens through which others perceive them.” Ignoring race, then, may well have a negative impact on those for whom it’s most salient. (Make sure to read Lisa Miller’s piece from May on a school in New York taking the exact opposite approach — splitting kids up by race at a young age specifically to have conversations about it.)



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