Parenting in the Shadow of Ferguson: Racial Socialization Practices in Context

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Black parents have long faced the task of explaining the meaning of race to their children and preparing them for racist experiences. This qualitative study examines racial socialization practices in the context of a specific racialized event: the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. Data were gathered from 18 Black parents and adolescents living in the St. Louis region in the weeks immediately following the event. Four types of practices were identified: Parents taught their children about the racial context from which the events emerged; they taught their sons strategies to avoid danger and that their lives are valued; they emphasized dissimilarity between their children and those engaging in violent protest; and they encouraged their children to overcome discrimination through individual achievement.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalYouth and Society
Issue number2
Early online date26 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

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© The Author(s) 2016. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details


  • discrimination, racism, parenting, race/ethnicity, African American, racial/ethnic identity, urban context

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