Save The Children: Learn how to raise black kids in white spaces
Play • 52 min

In this episode of The Parenting Cipher, authors of Do Right By Me: Learning to Raise Black Children in White Spaces, Valerie Harrison and Kathryn D’Angelo, share insights from their book on how to raise confident Black children with positive racial identity. They discuss strategies for interacting with white spaces including schools, health care, and sports. Kathryn also shares her personal experience as a white woman raising her adopted bi-racial son in this episode of The Parenting Cipher

Genie Dawkins

Host of The Parenting Cipher, Genie Dawkins is a single mother of four and has over 25 years of being a parent advocate of special needs children. In addition to obtaining her Certification in Integrative Health Coaching, Lateefa holds an M.S. in Non-Profit Management and a B.S. in Social Sciences. Genie is the best-selling author of two books “Not My Child: Navigating Your Child’s Learning Difficulties with IEP’s and Education Resources” and a recent release “The Joyful Family Planner”. As an educational advocacy specialist, her mission is to help parents achieve a balanced life and overcome inevitable challenges both at school and home in a way that empowers parents and children.

About our Guest:

Valerie Harrison has her JD and a Doctorate in African American Studies. She is an attorney, educator, and served as acting president of Lincoln University. Valerie first book, Color Him Father: Stories of Love and Rediscovery of Black Men, was published in 2006. She is co-author of Do Right by By Me: Learning to Raise Black Children in White Spaces (2020).

Kathryn D’Angelo has an Doctorate in Education, and she and her husband are white adoptive parents to a bi-racial son. Rejecting colorblind or post racial ideology, they confront head on the reality that they would need to equip their son for an experience far more complex than anything they had experienced. She is co-author of Do Right by Me: Learning to Raise Black Children in White Spaces (2020).

Insight from this episode:

  • A deep dive into Genie’s favorite chapters from Valerie and Kathryn's new book. 
  • Strategies on building positive racial identity in your child. 
  • Details on the impact of social exclusion on a child and ways to move towards inclusion. 
  • Reasons why we must be advocates for our Black children in education and health care. 
  • How white parents of Black children can manage and use their privilege for the best interest of their children. 


Quotes from the show:

  • “We just could not afford to subscribe to a colorblind or post racial ideology, specifically because that was not what was best for our child… It was our job to understand the reality that was ahead for our son.” –Kathryn D’Angelo The Parenting Cipher Ep. #8
  • “Confusion about racial and ethnic identity is linked to behavioral problems. It’s linked to psychological problems… The takeaway for us is this need to be intentional about helping Black children develop positive racial identity, and then equipping them with life skills to navigate racism.” –Valerie Harrison The Parenting Cipher Ep. #8
  • “Inclusion is not the absence of exclusion; it is its own practice.” –Kathryn D’Angelo The Parenting Cipher Ep. #8
  • “However, as a white parent, for over 400 years in this country, white people have not been expected to acknowledge racism, let alone consider that it might have an effect on the life of a Black child.” –Kathryn D’Angelo The Parenting Cipher Ep. #8  
  • “Never allow a Black child to feel that they are a failed attempt at being white but to understand that they have an equally rich and valuable identity.” –Valerie Harrison The Parenting Cipher Ep. #8
  • “The point of the chapter is one, to help parents be vigilant around issues of low teacher expectations... Black children are disciplined differently than white children. Behavior that is seen, in white children, as excitable or rambunctious is seen often in Black children as threatening.”  –Valerie Harrison The Parenting Cipher Ep. #8

Stay Connected:

Genie Dawkins

Website: Genie Dawkins

Twitter: @genie49317

Facebook: Genie Dawkins

Instagram: @geniedawkins

LinkedIn: Genie Dawkins


Valerie Harrison & Kathryn D’Angelo


Twitter: @DoRightByMe1

Instagram: @dorightbyme_book


The Parenting Cipher

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Post-production for this episode was provided by Podcast Laundry.

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