The Color of Crayons: A Preschooler’s Exploration of Race and Difference
In this chapter, Addy examines preschoolers’ attempts to understand racialized differences in physical appearance through the sensation of sight. They begin to associate their own flesh with the colors of the world around them, as a precursor to the physical markers that later become associated with race. Drawing from critical race theory and critical discourse analysis, the author examines how Lily, a Chinese-born child adopted by white American parents, experiences a flashpoint in the classroom and a shift in her perception of self. Interpretations are primarily based on observations from a middle-class preschool classroom in which Lily and the author, a black teacher-assistant, were the sole individuals of color in an otherwise all-white classroom.