Protecting our Black children can look a few different ways in the Black community. For some parents, calling Black girls ‘fast’ is done to prepare them for the real world. And some teachers see Black boys as men.
But neither of these examples is really protecting Black children. Lost Innocence: The Adultification of Black Children is a seven-part series that details the real-life experiences of Black childhood. Each story guides readers through the different ways Black children experience adultification. And how it has impacted the health of the Black community.
That’s why in a March 16 Twitter Space discussion, “Lost Innocence: Reporting on Mental Health in the Black Community,” Word In Black’s managing director Liz Courquet-Lesaulnier and health data reporter Anissa Durham had an unfiltered discussion on what it was like to report the series.
Lost Innocence: The Adultification of Black Children
- Black Children Deserve to Be Children — Black girls are called “fast,” and boys are seen as men. Both lose their innocence thanks to adultification bias.
- Life and Death: When Police Criminalize Young Black Men — In and out of schools, Black youth fear for their lives. And, for one teen in California, that fear comes every time he gets in his car.
- If Parents Don’t Protect Their Kids From Abuse, Who Will? — 1 in 4 Black girls will be sexually abused before age 18. When the women we spoke to told their parents, they weren’t protected.
- Why Do We View Black Girls as Sex Objects? — Black girls are so often viewed as sex objects that the blame is shifted to the girls being sexualized instead of the adults.
- What You Should Know About Adultification Bias — Explainer: A reader’s guide to what adultification bias is, how it shapes the lives of Black children, and why this stereotype of Black childhood needs to change.
- Listen: In Their Words, Black Folks Talk Adultification Bias — Hear the brave voices of those who went on the record about their experiences being criminalized and sexualized.
- Reporter’s Notebook: The Uncomfortable Truths I Uncovered About Black Childhood — Anissa spent months talking with Black folks for her series, “Lost Innocence: The Adultification of Black Children.” Here’s what she learned.