Information for Black Parents


Why A Special page for Black Parents

If you are African American parents and you don't believe in hitting and shaming your children as a method of discipline, you will not find much of value on this page, except maybe to validate your choices with your relatives. And you will find what help you need on the rest of our Parenting Help section.
Many Black parents are faced with two difficult dilemmas when it comes to avoiding hitting their children and still feeling that they are doing all they can to help them be successful in the world. One problem is the cultural legacy of slavery which makes "spanking," "whipping," "whopping," seem like black culture. Many black members of school boards actually use that language to defend the use of the paddle in 19 states in the U.S.

The other, more complex issue, is the myth that using shaming and hitting, including spanking,  makes children tough and strong. While the need to raise strong and in-charge-of-themselves children is paramount for the safety of their children in the face of institutional racism, our belief is that the shaming and hitting approach is not helpful, and even counter productive.

The authors below teach that true strength and mature balance including anger control, is achieved by a more nurturing attitude during the early years. Children are like hot house plants that need to develop strong roots before being put outside. We now know that brain development is actually hindered by punitive and painful treatment as opposed to more working-with-them approaches to education. The most important brain function for success is the executive function and this is one part of brain functioning that becomes victim to emotionally punitve and physically-violent child raising. 

Asadah Kirkland, author and educator   asada  



beating black kids




This catchy and mind boggling title is a fine little book with many  heartfelt stories of people who were beaten 

and are looking back on it. Their reflections weave into the ideas that Asadah wants us to reflect on about the kind of adults we wish our children to become.

Here is a small sampling of Asadah's style, check out youtube for more

Stacey Patton

Tips for Black Parents

This website's mission is to offer a full range of options for black parents feeling the pressure to hit their children. Sensitive help for black parents

Here is a small sampling of Patton's style, check out youtube for more


Punishment or Child Abuse

By Michael Eric Dyson - September 17, 2014

Washington -- The indictment last week of the NFL player Adrian Peterson by Texas grand jury for reckless or negligent injury to a child has set into relief the harmful disciplinary practices of some black families. Mr. Peterson used a “switch,” a slim, leafless tree branch, to beat his four-year-old son, raising welts on the youngster’s legs, buttocks, and scrotum. This is child abuse dressed up as acceptable punishment.

While 70% of Americans approve of corporal punishment. Black Americans have a distinct history with the subject. Beating children has been a depressingly familiar habit in black families since our arrival in the New World. As the black psychiatrists William H. Grier and Price M. Cobbs wrote in Black Rage, their 1968 examination of psychological black life: “Beating in child rearing actually has its psychological roots in slavery and even yet black parents will feel that, just as they have suffered beatings as children, so it is right that their children be so treated.”

The lash of the plantation overseer fell heavily on children to whip them into fear of white authority. Terror in the field often gave way to parents beating black children in the shack or at times in the presence of the slave owner in forced cooperation to break a rebellious child’s spirit. Black parents beat their children to keep them from misbehaving in the eyes of whites who had the power to send black youth to their deaths for the slightest offense. Today, many black parents fear that a loose tongue or flash of temper could get their child killed by a trigger-happy cop. They would rather beat their offspring than bury them.

There is an increasing awareness in the general public of the negative risks of spanking. Research shows a 93% agreement that spanking is harmful.

How is it harmful?

It is consistently linked to increased behavioral problems and aggression, increased defiance, and lower moral internalization. Spanking is also linked to an increased risk of mental illness in adolescence, drug and alcohol abuse, and a greater likelihood of domestic violence into adulthood.


Nine Reasons You Defend Spanking

Our Mission

The MISSION of the Action Team to End Hitting Children is to gather many people to do small jobs for the purpose of diminishing and finally ending the hitting of children. By "htiting" we mean to include beating, spanking, slapping, shaking, popping, and any other form of physical or emotional punishment that demeans the child and creates emotional, mental, and physical harm. Our strategy is to use many people to do small amounts of work that create momentum to make a difference. 

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