The Unique Challenge of Parenting Black Children...

Parenting is a challenge for all of us. But when you’re raising Black children, raising them to be safe, happy and healthy can seem like an insurmountable task. Especially in political times like these. We’ve all seen the videos of Black children being treated unfairly by their schools, in stores, while waiting for school buses, selling water or hotdogs, going to the swimming pool and while otherwise minding their business.

Though these are extreme examples, many parents lay awake at night worrying about how their daughter is really coping with being teased for her complexion and features on the playground. Others wonder how to fill in the gaps in their children’s education about their own culture and heritage. While many parents of Black children wonder if their schools are treating their children unfairly, some worry about both the potentially harmful presence of police around our children in school buildings and the violent appeal of street culture.

Parenting Black children requires us to have conversations with our children and deal with challenges that other people don’t have. Thanks to the world we live in, we often have to consider fears that other parents don’t. That’s may be unfair – but it doesn’t mean that it’s hopeless. It’s also why we created Sankofa Parent Academy.

Our Solution

We created the Sankofa Parent Academy to serve as an online resource for parents raising Black children. This resource will provide parents and educators with the resources they need to better parent Black children in a world that was not designed for them.

Not only will parents be introduced to best practices for parenting Black children – but they will also receive tool kits and practical resources that they can implement immediately in order to make a difference in their child’s life.

Our first course is Moving Beyond the Talk: How to Proactively Address Issues of Race, Culture and Identity with Black Children. This 4 part course explores the role that parents play in creating an educational experience that prepares Black children to navigate a world that sometimes treats them as if they don't belong.

The MBT Course Will:

1) Challenge parents to reflect on their own personal background and relationship to issues of race, culture and identity and how that history impacts their children;

2) Ask parents to examine the unique conversations that they must have in order to ensure healthy racial identity development and explore limitations of the single “talk’ approach to confronting issues of race, culture and identity;

3) Explore the research on positive racial identity and academic, social and professional success for Black children; and

4) Provide a comprehensive toolkit to empower Black parents to proactively address issues of race, culture and identity in a way that will empower their children to thrive.

There are Answers Available

While there may not be a guide for how to be a good parent in general – there is a ton of research and information on how to confront issues of race, culture and identity like these (and more!) , in a way that leaves Black children healthy and empowered.

There is literally an entire body of research commonly called culturally responsive teaching, that examines the role of culture and racial identity – and how they both impact Black student success. The findings have been amazing.

 A recent study out of Harvard and the University of Pittsburgh found that when parents “…instill a proud, informed, and sober perspective of race” in Black children, “these children are more likely to experience increased academic success.” They also found that racial pride was the “…single most important factor in guarding against racial discrimination and discovered it had a direct impact on students grades, future goals and cognitive engagement.”

You read that correctly. 

Cultural pride, that is, being proud of who they are as Black children, can make the difference in everything from our children’s academics, to how they envision their future and their role in this world and their career aspirations. Cultural pride is literally a partial antidote to the harms that discrimination can bring down on Black children.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that as parents who live and work in the real world, it can be really hard to know how to actually provide this type of environment for our children – let alone how to find the time to actually implement any of the best practices that support it. 

We know - and not only because we are also parents raising Black children.

For the past 20 years, we’ve also provided comprehensive training & professional development workshops, education programs, and family engagement courses on the impact of race, culture and identity on the development of Black children. Our programs are research based and they are specifically designed to break the cycle of academic & social underdevelopment in school communities of color by teaching parents and educators how to use culture, race and identity to motivate Black students to be their best selves.

We’ve worked in over 30 schools, colleges and universities across the country. Our courses introduce parents, educators and school administrators to current research, literature and best practices on parenting and educating Black children; culturally responsive teaching; and (most importantly) practical strategies designed to help break the cycle of underachievement among Black student populations.

The Need for Something More

As empowering as this ifnormation is, the reality is, the average parent doesn't know about it. 

Sadly, there’s a limit to how many workshops we can provide, how many cities we can travel to and how many families we can help in person.

That's why we've done the work for you. This course will provide a key foundation for effectively parenting Black children in a way that leaves them empowered to navigate a hostile world.