Dinner Table Talks create the opportunity for families to have important conversations centered around books. These discussions will build our capacity for talking about race and define our roles in fighting against both every day and systemic racism.
Indigo Dreaming by Dinah Johnson
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PUBLISHER'S DESCRIPTION: A young girl living on the coast of South Carolina dreams of her distant relatives on the shores of Africa and beyond. INDIGO DREAMING is a poetic meditation between two young girls—on different sides of the sea—who wonder how they’re intricately linked by culture, even though they’re separated by location. A gorgeous, imagination-sparking introduction to the beauty and interconnectedness of the Black diaspora! by Dinah Johnson and Anna Cunha.
Guidelines for Discussion
Be open and honest--even when it's hard.
Understand your own prejudice and bias.
Embrace other cultures or races by reading books, watching movies and going to community events.
Celebrate yourself and your own cultural identity.
Don't shy away from conversations about race. Talking is how you build capacity for anti-racism.
Acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them.
It's okay not to know the answer. Look for it together.
Adapted from the Embrace Race and MomsRisings' 10 Tips for Teaching and Talking to Kids About Race and Richland Library's Let's Talk Race team.
Questions for Conversation
- What is your favorite part of the book?
- One of the girls squirms “while her mama braids her hair.” What makes you squirm?
- The girls make sweetgrass baskets and search for shells on the beach. What sort of things do you like to do?
- The girls both eat boiled peanuts as a snack. What’s your favorite snack?
- One of the girls plays with her friends. What games do you like to play with your friends?
- One of the girls eats Frogmore Stew for dinner and drinks coconut water and sweet iced tea. What do you like to eat? What do you like to drink?
- The grandmother of one of the girls tells her “bedtime stories about Anansi the Spider?” What is something that your grandmother or aunt shares with you?
- When you think about someone else like you—they may be across the ocean, across the country, across our state or just across the street—why is it important to think about what you might have in common?
- What’s one thing you would like for someone to know about you?
- Even though we may live far apart or look different than one another, we are all connected. What makes you feel connected to another person?
Who doesn’t love getting "snail mail"? In our world of text messages, emails, DMs and comments, many rarely get to experience the excitement of opening up a mailbox and pulling out a letter addressed to them. The young girl in Indigo Dreaming is only dreaming of another girl like her in another part of the world. Pen Pals are a great way to actually connect with other young people near and far. Give becoming a Pen Pal a try!
Don't Know How to Connect with a Pen Pal?
Here are some safe places that can help young people connect with a pen pal.
Don't Know What to Say or Ask?
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- What is your favorite animal?
- What is your favorite TV show?
- What is your favorite food?
- What is your favorite movie?
- Do you play any sports?
- Who is your favorite music artist or band?
- Do you prefer being indoors or outdoors?
- What is your favorite board or card game?
- Do you prefer cats or dogs?
- Can you play a musical instrument?
- Who is your role model?
- If you could choose one superpower, what would it be, and why?
Find more great pen pal ideas here!
Want to continue the conversation? Need more resources about race?
Take a look at the following booklist for more great titles about the Black Experience:
Also, check out our Understanding Race, Equity and Inclusion resource for more books, podcasts, events and information.