Do Right by Me: Learning to Raise Black Children in White Spaces

by Dr. Valerie I. Harrison and Dr. Kathryn Peach D’Angelo.

Paperback, $19.50, Kindle $18.52.

Publisher: Temple University Press, 2021.

161 pages.

Dr. Valerie I. Harrison has spent more than 30 years as an attorney, professor, and higher education administrator. She earned her Ph.D. in African American Studies from Temple University.

Dr. Kathryn Peach D’Angelo is a lifelong educator and has been a teacher and an administrator. She holds a doctorate in education from Temple University

Katy (who is white) and Valerie (who is black) are friends. When Katy and her husband adopted a biracial child, the conversations between the two women deepened. As they tried to understand each other, Katy received valuable input from Val on how to equip her child, Gabe, with the tools he would need to grow up in a white family.
The book consists of dialogues from each of the women. The reader is always clear about who is speaking as there is a picture of each one at the beginning of the conversation.

The authors share information on transracial adoption, understanding racism, developing a child’s positive racial identity, racial disparities in healthcare and education, and the violence of racism.

The book details the importance of learning about and embracing diversity and the impact (and responsibility) we all have as a community in raising children. The friendship between the two authors and their candor regarding race, racism and raising children provides a model for the kinds of conversations and introspection each one of us should be engaged in as we strive to dismantle racism, be better ancestors and protect and nurture Black children.

I personally learned a lot from this book. It should be required reading for every white family adopting a black or biracial child. It would be extremely valuable to house parents of our Childcare agencies who are white and have black and biracial children in their homes.