cover image Do Right by Me: Learning to Raise Black Children in White Spaces

Do Right by Me: Learning to Raise Black Children in White Spaces

Valerie I. Harrison and Kathryn Peach D’Angelo. Temple Univ., $20 (194p) ISBN 978-1-4399-1995-8

Longtime friends Harrison, an attorney, and D’Angelo, Temple University’s assistant vice president for administration and planning, present a superb guide for white parents raising Black children. D’Angelo, the white adoptive parent of a biracial son, Gabe, and Harrison, who is Black and childless, share both personal experiences and cultural analysis. For instance, after D’Angelo recounts her son’s reluctance to join an otherwise all-white soccer team at age four, Harrison explains his reaction as reflecting how being different in itself can be damaging to self-identity. D’Angelo also discusses how raising Gabe makes her more aware of white privilege—at one point, she becomes angry at her husband for modeling, in front of Gabe, aggressive “behavior that would get our child killed,” after which Harrison recalls being warned, as a child, by elders of the danger racially biased policing poses to Black people. More generally, Harrison exhorts parents to educate themselves about how historic discrimination in housing and hiring and under the law continues to affect African Americans, and to make sure kids understand “that when they see Black people in profound disadvantage, it is not because Black people are somehow deficient.” This timely examination of discrimination and privilege is packed with insight and should be a great resource for white parents raising children of color. (Nov.)