On Juneteenth, African Americans celebrate emancipation from slavery. On this day we at the Greater Good Science Center would like to share some of the tools we’ve published through the years that attend to the well-being of African Americans, and tools that others can use to work toward dismantling racism. These are tools of confrontation, compassion, listening, understanding, and hope that might move us all toward more fully claiming our humanity.
Right now, many of us are weary of using these tools on our own. Those who are suffering from racialized violence, who are seeking justice, need for all of us to share the load. On Juneteenth, we’re taking this opportunity to ask our more privileged readers to listen deeply to voices of difference and thoughts that make you uncomfortable. We’d like to ask you to reckon with your own mistakes and hurts, and please help with the work of building a society where everyone’s humanity is recognized and upheld.
- Why Telling Our Own Story Is So Powerful for Black Americans: Andrea Collier reflects on the role of storytelling in black American history—and in her own life.
- How Talking About Race Can Bring Black Families Together: A new program is helping Black children and their caregivers talk about race—and they’re learning important lessons about racial socialization.
- For Black Children, Play Can Be Transformative: Play is a radical and liberatory activity for Black children. As adults, we have a responsibility to promote and participate in it, too.
- Nine Picture Books That Illuminate Black Joy: These books celebrate Black children’s everyday lives—being bold, curious, creative, loving, and playful.
- How Adults Can Support the Mental Health of Black Children: Psychologist Riana Elyse Anderson explains how families can communicate about race and cope with racial stress and trauma.
- How to Change the Story about Students of Color: Dena Simmons explores how educators can inadvertently harm students of color—and what we can do to bring out their best.
- Why Storytelling Skills Matter for African-American Kids: For black students, storytelling skills directly predict their early reading skills.
- How Can I Stay Positive for My Kids When I’m So Overwhelmed?: Even for a psychologist who studies how kids understand racism and violence, talking to her own children about it is difficult.
- Why Diversity Didn’t Save Tyre Nichols: The killing of Tyre Nichols complicates a common narrative: that the key to countering racism in our institutions is simply to diversify.
- Why Marginalized Students Need Hope to Succeed: Researcher Dante Dixson is developing programs to help disadvantaged students envision a brighter future for themselves.
- How the “Strong Black Woman” Identity Both Helps and Hurts: Being a “superwoman” could help African American women cope with racial discrimination—but it may have some drawbacks.
- From Othering to Belonging: In a Science of Happiness podcast, we explore racial justice, well-being, and widening our circles of connection and concern.
- Thoughts on Awkward Relationships and Bridging Divides: In a Science of Happiness podcast, comedian W. Kamau Bell discusses the challenges of finding common ground, even with people in your own family.
Discover more anti-racist resources from the Greater Good Science Center.