Belmont Public Schools Recommends Elementary Schoolers Do Summer Reading On ‘White Privilege’ and ‘Whiteness’

Printed from:

Are you an elementary school student in Belmont, Massachusetts? 

Probably not if you’re reading this article. But if you were, your recommended reading list over summer vacation would include books on topics like “white privilege” and “whiteness.” The books are in the category of “Children’s Books on Race, Culture, and Activism” on the Belmont Public School district’s reading list.

The reading list contains 80 books. One of them — listed under the category “books discussing incidents in the news” — is Not My Idea:  A Book About Whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham. The book has a devil-like figure that offers the protagonist a “contract binding you to whiteness.” The recipient will receive “stolen land,” “stolen riches,” and “special favors,” but if the character signs it, the contract will cause the character’s soul to “mess endlessly with the lives of your friends, neighbors, loved ones and all fellow humans of color.”

Another book on the reading list is Race Cars:  A Children’s Book About White Privilege by Jenny Devenny. The description of the book on Goodreads says that it “tells the story of 2 best friends, a white car and a black car, that have different experiences and face different rules while entering the same race.”

It also says that children learn racial biases at a young age and that “Race Cars offers a simplistic, yet powerful way to introduce these complicated themes to our children and is a worthy addition to classroom and home libraries.”

A title included in the category “Books for young readers” is Stamped (for Kids) by Jason Reynolds and Ibram Kendi. Kendi is a left-wing Boston University professor who wants the United States to add an anti-racism amendment to the United States Constitution.

Kendi wrote in Politico in 2019 that this new amendment would have two main principles:  “Racial inequity is evidence of racist policy and the different racial groups are equals. The amendment would make unconstitutional racial inequity over a certain threshold, as well as racist ideas by public officials (with ‘racist ideas’ and ‘public official’ clearly defined).”

The list includes eight books in the category “Books calling for activism.” One of those books is A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara. Her web site says that the book is “written and illustrated for the next generation of progressives:  families who want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and everything else that activists believe in and fight for.”

So why is the school district recommending that elementary school students read these books from these authors? Here is what the school’s web site says on the page with the recommended readings:

“These books teach about some of the history of racial injustice in our country and attempt to give messages about the advocacy and anti-racist activism that we want to inspire in all our students. We prioritized sharing books that can be read by children and adults of all ages. Many of these books demonstrate how kids can be advocates and activists; many are books that inspire children to feel pride and joy in who they are, no matter what culture or background they come from.”

“We hope this list will inspire discussion and learning among our families, provide a way to better understand history, and encourage us all to better understand each other. This is just the beginning and really only a highlight of the many books we have available on these topics.”

Belmont Public Schools superintendent John Phelan could not be reached for comment on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday this week.


New to NewBostonPost?  Conservative media is hard to find in Massachusetts.  But you’ve found it.  Now dip your toe in the water for two bucks — $2 for two months.  And join the real revolution.