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Race and Racism in Early Childhood Education: Redressing the Past to Forge Forward

by Iheoma U. Iruka
September/October 2019
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/race-and-racism-in-early-childhood-education-redressing-the-past-to-forge-forward/5024932/

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“A system of education is not one thing, nor does it have a single definite object, nor is it a mere matter of schools. Education is that whole system of human training within and without the school house walls which molds and develops men.”

W. E. B. Du Bois

A colleague recently told me that “people who talk about race are misguided because race is not biological; rather they should be talking about racism.” As someone who examines a multitude of data to examine how children of color, especially Black children and families are doing, I was a little angry, until I read this sentence again. It is true; race is a social construct created by White men seeking to bestow fear in those White individuals who sought to align with Black people and other marginalized groups seeking access and opportunities. It is not one’s race that creates the inequities we see today, it is racism.

Racism is a human-made system that organizes hierarchies of power around White supremacist value; this means that White racialized people end up collectively benefiting from this structural/systemic/institutional arrangement of power, privilege ...

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