Book of the month: Bringing Up Race by Uju Asika

Talented blogger and mumpreneur Uju Asika of Babes about town has published Bringing Up Race: How to Raise a Kind Child in a Prejudiced World, which I was honoured to contribute to. I have known Uju for years. We have crossed path many times and I have always loved her straight talking and honest approach to parenting, work and life in general. Very much like mine.

Bringing Up Race is a wonderful and important book for everyone who wants to instil a sense of open-minded inclusivity in their kids, and those who want to discuss difference instead of shying away from tough questions. I love Uju’s writing style. Light-hearted yet so heavy with significance. Uju draws on often shocking personal stories of prejudice along with opinions of experts, influencers and fellow parents to give prescriptive advice making this an invaluable guide. As recent world’s events have taught us, racism cuts across all sectors of society. Inevitably, even the Queen will have to grapple with these issues, as great grandmother to a child of mixed ethnicity.

Her opening words really made me think about how much society talks about inclusivity yet only a minority really embraces it in their daily life and within their local communities. Everybody seems to like the inclusivity concept until the issue comes too close to them and action is required to make people feel included: 

“You can’t avoid it, because it’s everywhere. In the looks my kids get in certain spaces, the manner in which some people speak to them, the stuff that goes over their heads. Stuff that makes them cry even when they don’t know why. How do you bring up your kids to be kind and happy when there is so much out there trying to break them down?”. 

Bringing Up Race explores the moments when children start noticing ethnic differences (hint: much earlier than you think), what to do if your child says something racist (try not to freak out), how to have open, honest, age-appropriate conversations about race, how children and parents can handle racial bullying, how to recognise and challenge everyday racism, aka micro aggressions. 

Uju has done a great job in involving lots of inspirational experts but also parents like me with a different ethnic backgrounds (I am Italian) to really explore the depth of racism. Bringing Up Race is a real call to arms for ALL parents, hoping that their educational effort and example will encourage the next generation to have zero tolerance to racial prejudice, and grow up understanding what kindness and happiness truly mean.

Follow Uju:

Twitter – @babesabouttown 

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I’d love for you to get involved and leave your comments here on what race does mean for you.

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