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Racial Socialization

Racial Socialization

Racial socialization prepares children for anticipatory experiences, builds Black pride, and educates about racial inequalities. PSV provides opportunities for children to see more of themselves—children experiencing the same unique school dynamics, albeit perhaps at different schools—through myriad community activities and events. By providing opportunities to socialize or convene around a topic of interest (e.g., financial literacy, hair, the n-word, etc.), PSV educates students about a range of things from learning about Black history and cultural traditions such as how to “double dutch” and the history of hip hop to ensuring they consider how to handle themselves if pulled over by a cop. Below are a few examples of activities that fall under racial socialization —

  • Grade level social pods are parent led and grouped by grades: They meet at least once a month (if not more, depending on the planned activity). Clusters of pods enjoy activities to give our children opportunities to connect while also building cultural pride and knowledge. (Launching January 2022)

  • Educational, Tradition & Cultural-Building Classes & Programs: Many PSV programs work to affirm cultural heritage and tradition which impacts healthy human development. PSV anticipates several activities and events being incorporated into the grade-level social pods (e.g. community service, educational and fun classes/activities such as step classes, decolonized Black history, roller skating). But, PSV also offers them directly (e.g. Black Hair-itage Celebration) to ensure families and students have several opportunities to (re)affirm identity and build Black pride.

    • Black Hair Care & Beauty Symposium provides an affirming and educational opportunity for parents and their children to celebrate Black beauty standards. Panelists discuss the shared experiences and challenges of being in a school environment that often doesn’t understand cultural boundaries and/or the larger issues related to being different in a homogenous school community. Following a lively discussion, local hairstylists and beauty experts provide tutorials about care in a celebratory culmination of the day.

      • Special Event: Middle and High School girls read and discuss 16-year old author Olivia
        V.G. Clarke’s book, Black Girl, White School: Thriving, Surviving and No, You Can't Touch My Hair! This is another opportunity to build a stronger sense of self and cultural appreciation around a key aspect of identity.

    • Black History from a Decolonized Perspective is an 8-week, forty-minute virtual class for up to fifteen students offered on a revolving basis. Most Eurocentric curricula begin Black history with enslavement, completely leaving out the rich cultural history many Africans had in their own societies. By teaching students about history pre-slavery, we build a deeper respect and self-confidence in black children. 

“PSV is an awesome and necessary opportunity for African-American students in private school to meet, engage, learn, and support each other. It is also a well-needed opportunity for these students’ parents to meet, support, and learn about how best to navigate private school life with their children, faculty, and staff. PSV supports people of color to learn about our culture, embrace our differences, and to build a sense of community for our growing children who are in schools that are not diverse,” reported a PSV parent through an anonymous survey in February 2019.