Just Another Guy with Opinions

Racism starts with Kids

Posted by shadmia on January 28, 2007


Not sure what to make of this one. A young aspiring filmmaker Kiri Davis decided to repeat an experiment conducted by psychologist Kenneth Clark in the 1950’s, over 50 years ago. It was intended to help make the case for desegregation in the Oliver Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas case which ultimately resulted in the Supreme Court overturning racial segregation if public education

In his experiment Clark presented a group of Black kids with two dolls. One black and one white. They were asked which one they preferred. The overwhelming majority of the kids chose the white doll. Given the state of race relations in the 1950s, this result was not too surprising. So Kiri Davis wanted to repeat the experiment to see how much things had changed since then.

Here is what she found:

Nothing has changed. Black kids still preferred the white doll. I was surprised at this result. After decades of trying to improve race relations, it looks like nothing much has changed. I am not sure if this is because of societal pressures acting on the young. Would the results be any different if economic standings (poor/middle class/rich) were taken into account? If there was a larger group of kids tested would the results change? This video certainly brings some interesting questions to mind. What if Hispanic or Oriental kids were selected? Does society reinforce the notion that White is good and Black is bad? I would love to see this experiment done on a large scientifically monitored national scale to determine its validity.


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One Response to “Racism starts with Kids”

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