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Author ORCID Identifier

0000-0003-1766-6418 (Shannon Wanless)

Abstract

Racism negatively affects children of color in the United States, particularly Black children. Theirs is a history of marginalization since the slavery era, and the impacts are cognitive, social, and psychological. Additionally, Black children face unique challenges upon entering formal education, resulting in disturbing academic outcomes. Yet, adults can facilitate Black children’s development of positive racial identity to help them handle the negative implications of experiencing racism across their lifespan. A description of the research related to positive racial identity is provided along with presentation of the P.R.I.D.E. program, a Pittsburgh-based effort that is designed to help adults build the knowledge and skills needed to support Black children with this aspect of healthy development, thereby interrupting the cycle of racial oppression. A developmental framework for exploring race and child development is introduced. Strategies for teacher growth and classroom application are described along with suggestions for future direction.

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