As I’m packing up a bunch of books, I’m revisiting (very quickly, mind you) many of the books I had and read as a kid. Books featuring a wide variety of kids and adults shown on an even playing field.
This may not have reflected reality at the time, but I didn’t know that, and what it did was establish in me a feeling of social equality that I realized later on wasn’t the norm, nor did all kids grow up with that.
I have a few specific pieces of media to thank, though only two come to mind right now:
- All of the Free to Be, You and Me content, in book, movie, and album form. It validates a lot of differences in how people look, express themselves, and find joy. I love it so, so much, and it holds up really well. Thanks, Marlo Thomas.
- Nice Little Girls by Elizabeth Levy and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein, published in 1974. It’s about a little girl who prefers to dress “like a boy” and is ostracized because of it. But she shows them in the end (in a good way). I can’t find this one on Amazon, as it seems to be out of print. But please check it out here, where I found someone taking us through the book.
So, parents out there, when you expose your kids to ideas of social equality, or anything, really, they are paying attention. You will be shaping their world view. Keep them aiming high.
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