BLACK CHILD CARE: How to Bring Up a Healthy Black Child in America by

BLACK CHILD CARE: How to Bring Up a Healthy Black Child in America

By
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Addressing themselves to the special needs and problems of the black child growing up in White America, Comer (Yale Child Study Center) and Poussaint (Harvard Medical School) make the all-too-true point that most child care books are geared to the middle income white family. So, while covering, sensibly and soundly, all the basics from toilet training to sex education, many of the issues they deal with are race-related. Their aim is to help black parents inculcate in their children a strong, proud, black identity, to give the child that extra margin of love and security he will not receive from the white world which, too frequently, has a way of insinuating that black boys and girls are not as valued as whites. Fortunately the authors realize that black identity is not affected by style; whether a teenager straightens her hair or wears an Afro doesn't necessarily mean she has a healthy (or a damaged) self-image. Teenagers may use endless streams of black slang and still feel diffident toward white society. The authors caution against instilling in children a ""racist"" attitude that thinks of all whites as ""honkies"" and warns that teenagers especially, in this day of Black is Beautiful, may overreact, shunning white friends and light-skinned dates, blaming (as one parent complains) ""race"" to avoid problems such as failing grades in school. So too, while the authors believe that black parents are often too ""strict"" with young children who are expressing healthy aggressive instincts, they insist that clear limits be set. If the book has a fault it is that Comer and Poussaint sometimes ignore their own caveat and preach very middle class values (though in fairness it must be said that they don't ignore ghetto problems -- teenagers and drugs, prostitution, fatherless households, etc.). All told, an intelligent, comprehensive book which should be invaluable to parents, educators, child psychologists, and other professionals.

Pub Date: May 28th, 1975
Publisher: Simon & Schuster