"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.