Loretta Andrews & Ruth Hill – Authors of ‘Talking to Children About Race: Your Guide for Raising Anti-Racist Kids’

Sue in conversation with Loretta Andrews & Ruth Hill

This book is for those of us who desperately want to create space for conversations about race but don’t know where to begin or doubt whether we are doing it ‘right’… It addresses the language, history and politics of race… It is a book about how you can talk plainly and effectively about race, enabling your children to form their own opinions and to talk with knowledge, understanding and compassion about issues around race.

Loretta is mixed-race and Ruth is white – they have been friends for 12 years, having met when their children were babies. In summer 2020, as the #BlackLivesMatter campaign gained momentum, Ruth felt a need to educate herself better about racism so that she could bring up her children to be anti-racist. She wrote to Loretta to ask whether she would be happy to talk with her about this topic, and their discussions gradually grew into this book, Talking to Children About Race: Your guide for raising anti-racist kids.

The authors define ‘anti-racism’ as an active response to racism – ‘calling people out and standing by others and trying to change the systems’. They encourage people when encountering racism to follow the 5 steps of ‘recognise – acknowledge – challenge – dismantle – change.’ Children as young as 3 years old are already aware of racial issues an have a natural inclination towards fairness so it is important to start these conversations early so that we can encourage children to demand fairness for everyone, regardless of the colour of their skin.

Loretta Andrews is a radio broadcaster, artist-development coach, podcaster, social activist and music manager. She has a first-class degree in Professional and Creative Writing with Media Arts, and has worked as a radio presenter and producer for more than twelve years. She currently manages five artists full-time and provides coaching and consultancy services for independent artists. Alongside the singer-songwriter Bianca Rose, she co-founded I Am Independent. Convinced that everyone should be part of the change they want to see, Loretta is passionate about educating herself and others to do more to achieve a fairer and better society for the future. She has a twelve-year-old son.

Ruth Hill is an educator, performer and writer, and has taught for more than twenty years. She has a Master’s in Education, and teaches drama, creative writing and English in a variety of settings, including mainstream, alternative-provision and special-needs schools. Ruth is passionate about equality of opportunity and working towards a fairer society. She has written scripts for both theatre and film, and has created, performed and toured with a variety of shows. Much of her theatre work is for younger audiences and focuses on diversity, difference and acceptance. The Invisible Museum, her one-woman show for children, aged seven and above, tells the stories of marginalized people in the context of the history of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). Ruth and her husband Paul have two children.

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