Wish We Knew What to Say: Talking with Children About Race (Hardcover)
'A thoughtful, prescient read for any mother or father parenting through the unique challenges of this racially polarised year, decade and beyond' Kenya Hunt
'Comprehensive, readable, and so very important. The next generation needs you to read this book' Clare Mackintosh, Sunday Times bestselling author
'A vital book that equips us to have conversations about race and racism with young people, ensuring we are all playing our part to raise the next generations as anti-racist. With excellent, clear advice from Dr Agarwal I Wish We Knew What to Say is a quick, engaging and easily digestible read' Nikesh Shukla
We want our children to thrive and flourish in a diverse, multi-cultural world and we owe it to them to help them make sense of the confusing and emotionally charged messages they receive about themselves and others. These early years are the most crucial when children are curious about the world around them, but are also quick to form stereotypes and biases that can become deeply ingrained as they grow older. These are the people who are going to inherit this world, and we owe it to them to lay a strong foundation for the next phases of their lives.
Wish We Knew What to Say is a timely and urgent book that gives scenarios, questions, thought starters, resources and advice in an accessible manner on how to tackle tricky conversations around race and racism with confidence and awareness. it brings in the science of how children perceive race and form racial identity, combining it with personal stories and experiences to create a handy guide that every parent would refer to again and again.
Written by behavioural and data scientist, Dr Pragya Agarwal, Wish We Knew What to Say will help all parents, carers and educators give children the tools and vocabulary to talk about people's differences and similarities in an open, non-judgemental, curious way, and help them address any unfairness they might see or encounter.
About the Author
Dr Pragya Agarwal is a behavioural and data scientist, and a freelance journalist. As a Senior Academic in US and UK universities, she has held the prestigious Leverhulme Fellowship, following a PhD from the University of Nottingham. Pragya is the author of SWAY: Unravelling Unconscious Bias. As a freelance journalist, her writing has appeared in the Guardian, Independent, BMJ, Times Higher Education, Huffington Post, Prospect, Forbes, and many more.
Pragya moved to the UK from India almost twenty years ago, and now lives in the north-west with her family.
A thoughtful, prescient read for any mother or father parenting through the unique challenges of this racially polarised year, decade and beyond—Kenya Hunt
Comprehensive, readable, and so very important. The next generation needs you to read this book—Clare Mackintosh, Sunday Times bestselling author
If you have ever grappled with the question "how do we talk to my young children about race?" then this is the book for you. I have learnt more from looking at this book than any thing else I have come across in the search to educate myself as a white parent on the right language to use to talk to my son and daughters. Everything is simply explained and in the right context for the right age group. Pragya's personal anecdotes are crucial to helping us understand what the conversation should be and to changing the traditional narrative so we can raise more enlightened children. This book will be a crucial tool in your parenting kit—Lorraine Candy
Pragya's writing combines both meticulous research with a strong human voice. She is a deeply empathetic writer and someone whose voice demands to be heard today. I love the way Pragya writes. She teaches me so much whilst also revealing deep personal insights into what it means to be human. An essential read—Clover Stroud
A vital book that equips us to have conversations about race and racism with young people, ensuring we are all playing our part to raise the next generations as anti-racist. With excellent, clear advice from Dr Agarwal I Wish We Knew What to Say is a quick, engaging and easily digestible read—Nikesh Shukla
This is a serious and sensitive look at the challenges facing us all as we continue to wrestle with issues of race and identity. Our children need us to think harder about racism and how to be anti-racist, for all our futures. This is a book that offers essential guidance in this direction—Jeffrey Boakye
As a dark skinned, black woman whose just as black child was just four when she was told that she couldn't play with other children because her skin was too dark I cannot repeat how vital Pragya's book is. Of late "vital" has become such a buzzword so I don't want it to feel as though it's a throwaway but I can't think of another word which helps cement just how much a book like this should be an anchor not just in home libraries but also in school curriculums. l have learnt so much that even if you aren't a parent I think this is a very necessary read because whether you are thanked for it or not we are all playing a part in teaching and unlearning for the future generations. If there is even a speck of hope for a post racial society books like this are what we need to be reading in order to get about building it—Candice Braithwaite