Anderson Cooper 360 posted a video based on a study they sponsored of kids’ perceptions of race and friendships. The results are not surprising: kids pick up on larger social patterns, such as the fact that the adults around them often have few significant friendships across racial lines, and struggle to make sense of what they see. By age 6 they are highly aware of race and have formed clear ideas about how adults feel about people of other races than their own. Moreover, they’ve internalized cultural messages about race. As the clip shows, the race of the children themselves, as well as the race of children in images they are shown, impacts how they interpret the events in the pictures, with White children attributing more negative behaviors to African Americans in the photos:
Also check out Anderson Cooper’s earlier segments on children’s attitudes about skin color.