Most Parents Discussed Black Lives Matter With Their 8-11-Year-Old Children, Study Shows

About 84 percent of Black parents and 76 percent of White parents had talks with their kids about the movement following the death of George Floyd.

Black and White parents both discussed the Black Lives Matter movement with their children between the ages of 8-11 in growing numbers.

The Hill reports that a survey conducted at Northwestern University sampled more than “700 socioeconomically diverse Black and White parents six weeks before the 2020 murder of George Floyd and three weeks after.” The researchers discovered that more Black parents had conversations about race than white parents, and the chasm grew wider following Floyd’s murder by a white police officer.

According to the research, 84 percent of Black parents had spoken to their children about the BLM Movement after Floyd’s murder, while 76 percent of white parents have had similar conversations.

Additionally, 78 percent of Black parents have conversations that affirm Black lives by combatting media narratives and acknowledging the reality of systemic racism. Only 35 percent of White parents indicated they had shared similar messaging with their children.

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Leoandra Onnie Rogers, the lead researcher on the study, said in a statement that although the number of parents having these talks with their children is on the rise, a major distinguishing factor in the study is the use of language by parents in the explanation of BLM. 

“While it is notable that many parents, including White parents, were talking with their children about Black Lives Matter, it is more important to consider what parents said,” Rogers explained.  

During the study, respondents were also given open-ended questions and it was found that Black parents were far less likely to mention colorblindness when speaking with their children than White parents. This difference also expanded following Floyd’s death. 

Another discovery of the study was that 27 percent of White parents shared responses that were seemingly “copied from Internet sources and pasted word for word into the survey.” 

While Rogers says speaking with children about race is critical, the nature of the conservations is even more important.

“Encouraging parents to talk about race, to break the silence, is necessary but insufficient,” Rogers said. “The upside is these data suggest that parents are listening to the societal conversation, and the concerted effort to engage parents and families in race talk did seem to influence the overall frequency of the reported conversations. However, the depth and substance of these conversations warrants further attention.”

The complete study was released online in advance of publication by Developmental Psychology in January.

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