Dad dot info form. Ask questions, get answers

5 Tips for Talking to Your Child About Anti-Racism

Adam Liverpool

Adam Liverpool

You’ve already talked to your children about Corona Virus. Like me you may have talked about why they can’t go to school, play with their friends or go to the hospital to hug grandma. It wasn’t easy but they’re better prepared because of you. Now you must address another global threat… racism.


picture from a campaign by @ICFreeUK


“That’s not a chip on my shoulder that’s your foot on my neck” – Malcolm X



“Racism is a pandemic” sign on a dog at a Liverpool Black Lives Matter Demonstration


Edward Colstan’s Statue

You may have seen videos of Edward Colstan’s statue being torn down during the Black Lives Matter demonstration in Bristol, if not, you will have probably seen the murder of George Floyd that sparked anti-racist events around the world. The statue was thrown into the sea by demonstrators after officials repeatedly passed up opportunities to remove the figure responsible for the enslavement of over 80,000 people, with 20,000 African men, women and children dying while packed below the deck of his ships. Statues are not a substitute for a balanced education (there are more statues of goats in this country than women who aren’t royal).

Slave owners were compensated with millions of pounds during abolition in British colonies in the 1830’s, the billions it cost the British Treasury meant that they paid the banks back through your taxes until 2015. The legacies of slavery were not just financial, as stereotypes of enslaved people still persist today through bias including that Black people are viewed as threatening. The foundations of our education and institutions were unfair and institutional racism today often results from us being unable to untangle this, however well meaning individuals may be.


Tweet by Footballer Liam Rosenior

We shout Black Lives Matter, because all lives cannot matter until urgent threats to those lives most at risk are protected and respected. We are relying on a cruel system to reduce cruelty. Calls for defunding/abolishing the police may seem unimaginable to you. But your child has limitless imagination and they may be able to see a world where their mistakes may benefit more from a properly resourced teacher, social worker or health care worker than a heavily armed police officer.


“In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-rascist” -Angela Davis


Below is a series of tips for teaching about historic racism that I have found effective tools when teaching about the legacies of slavery, as well for parenting. They are by no means complete and you know your child best, but this could be part of your preparation for discussions.


“Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou


1. Acknowledge that this is difficult and emotional for everyone. Consider your own relevant and potentially traumatic experiences. This can provoke a variety of responses and will require a sensitive approach. Create an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust for each other and the content of the discussion.

2. Language. Consider what words are most culturally respectful and sensitive. Encourage empathy (people not numbers). Challenge stereotypes and misconceptions. Think about historical and contemporary terms. Ensure that it is understood that this isn’t a separate ‘Black history’ but it is essential to our shared British history and present.

3. Do not oversimplify. It is important to address changes through time and place. This is not just history but is extremely relevant today to all of us here and globally.

4. Make sure your child knows you’re available if questions arise and ensure that your child is aware of safe avenues to raise concerns and to take action, such as organising, using your privilege for others, voting or reporting an incident to teachers and stop hate UK.

5. Differing ages and needs must be considered. It may be beneficial to build context and resilience before addressing the more disturbing and traumatic aspects.

Share books, shows and films with positive representations of people of colour from an early age and throughout childhood.


You don’t need to have all the answers but it is vitally important to educate yourself. Below are just a few examples of where to begin.

Talk to people with lived experiences, when appropriate (anti racism movements in Britain have a long history).

Visit the International Slavery Museum in person or take a free virtual tour.

International Slavery Museum

Black History Curriculum

Youtube Channel – The Black History Curriculum

Understanding Slavery Initiative

Stop Hate UK

Youtube Channel – Every Single Word Spoken by a person of colour in…

Anti-Racism Resources for all ages

Los Angeles Public Libraries excellent reading list

BBC Bitesize

Support from Carry Your Weight to learn how to be a great non-black ally

The Runnymede Trust – Actions to change the History Curriculum

Guardian article- 20 ideas to make the UK less rascist

The Advocacy Academy – for South Londoners going in to Yr 12 or 13



Related entries

10 ways I’ve been amusing my kids in lockdown

10 ways I’ve been amusing my kids in lockdown

Back in lockdown and the kids are already clawing the walls. Below I have listed ten top online edu-tainments that are keeping me sane. 10 – Herstomonceaux Observatory This historic tourist attraction is sharing a few simple stargazing activities. Enjoy them with your...

Covid at College: How to support a self-isolating student

Covid at College: How to support a self-isolating student

Around 40 Universities have reported Covid-19 cases and there are thousands of students self-isolating. Watching your child leave for University has never been harder.   In September students received a personalised plea from Boris Johnson, “Please, for the sake...

The School of Daddy and Fire

The School of Daddy and Fire

"The past few months have clearly been very challenging for a lot of people, and I by no means want to belittle anyone’s experiences but I’ve felt that I’ve been especially lucky during this time." 60:40 Dad Every week normally I feel like I don’t get to see my...

Latest entries

Your Guide to the European Championships

Your Guide to the European Championships

Like it or loathe it, the next few weeks are going to be all about football. If you want the basics to keep up with your footy crazy kids we’ve compiled this handy guide to give you an overview of the upcoming European Championships. What are the European...



Dads, do you struggle sometimes? Who do you reach out to for help? Debbie Pattison, a qualified counsellor at Fegans can answer your questions. Send them in to Ask Debbie at and if she can she will answer. Today’s question is from a dad who shares care...

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcome a new baby girl

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcome a new baby girl

Welcome to the world Baby Lilibet. The team loves a baby and the new daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is just the good news we need. Named for her grandmother and great-grandmother, Lilibet...

Pin It on Pinterest