© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

"What the Children Told Us" by Tim Spofford

Book cover for "What the Children Told Us" by Tim Spofford

Dr. Kenneth Clark visited run-down and under-resourced segregated schools across America, presenting Black children with two dolls: a white one with hair painted yellow and a brown one with hair painted black. "Give me the doll you like to play with," he said. "Give me the doll that is a nice doll."

The psychological experiment Kenneth developed with his wife, Mamie, designed to measure how segregation affected Black children's perception of themselves and other Black people, was enlightening―and horrifying. Over and over again, the young children―some not yet five years old―selected the white doll as preferable, and the brown doll as "bad." Some children even denied their race.

"What the Children Told Us" is the story of the towering intellectual and emotional partnership between two Black scholars who highlighted the psychological effects of racial segregation.

Tim Spofford's writing career has focused on racial issues in education. Spofford has taught writing and journalism in schools and colleges and has a Doctor of Arts in English degree from the State University of New York at Albany.

Stay Connected
Joe talks to people on the radio for a living. In addition to countless impressive human "gets" - he has talked to a lot of Muppets. Joe grew up in Philadelphia, has been on the area airwaves for more than 25 years and currently lives in Washington County, NY with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Brady. And yes, he reads every single book.
Related Content
  • The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond. Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, investigative journalist and RPI adjunct Rosemary Armao, Tetherless World Chair of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences and Founding Director of RPI’s Institute for Data, Artificial Intelligence and Computing Jim Hendler, Albany Law School Professor of Law, Director of The Justice Center and Director of Immigration Law Clinic Sarah Rogerson, and director, actor, educator and co-founder and Artistic Director of WAM Theatre Kristen van Ginhoven.
  • Sean Carroll is a renowned theoretical physicist, host of the hit science podcast Mindscape, and the New York Times bestselling author of “Something Deeply Hidden.” His new book, “The Biggest Ideas in the Universe” is a deep dive into physics that pulls back the veil of mystery from most complex ideas in the field.
  • This week's Book Picks come from Heather Boyne of Battenkill Books in Cambridge, New York.
  • The history of the United States has been shaped by immigration. Historian Carl Bon Tempo provides a sweeping historical narrative told through the lives and words of the quite ordinary people who did nothing less than make the nation.
  • Naumkeag in Stockbridge, Massachusetts is a National Historic Landmark District, owned and operated by The Trustees of Reservations. It is currently the setting for a collection of kinetic sculptures by acclaimed American artist George Warren Rickey, who lived from 1907 to 2002. For the exhibition, entitled “ViewEscapes,” Naumkeag partnered with the George Rickey Foundation and the George Rickey estate. The sculptures will be in place and on view through October.