Tune in to CNN at 8 and 10 p.m. ET and on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET for AC360's special series.
For the past year, Anderson Cooper and the producers at AC360° worked on a project that explores how children form opinions on race. The purpose of "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture" was to find out more about when they notice race, what informs their views and how all of that differs for black and white children.
We commissioned an original study and partnered with renowned child psychologist and University of Maryland professor Dr. Melanie Killen. Dr. Killen's role was not just to design and implement the study, but also to help us analyze the findings so we could inform parents and teachers.
Anderson wrote in his blog, "I hope this study helps us all consider how our perceptions of race impact our thoughts and behaviors, and also what messages adults are passing down to children." The data we gathered is attention-grabbing, but what's equally fascinating is hearing the raw, unfiltered thoughts of kids as young as six. Their honest comments along with the results paint a picture of how far we've come in teaching the next generation about equality and acceptance - and how much farther we have to go.
All week we've presented the study to you, and in return you've given us your reactions and shared your personal stories. Thank you for contributing to this ongoing national discussion on Twitter, our Facebook and Google Plus page, our blog, and iReport.
LauraLynn Dangelo I taught my two boys at a very early that we all are one, we are the human race and not segregated into colors. I told them that no matter who they chose to love is their choice and I will accept it as long as they are respected into their relashionship.
.@AC360: No doubt some of the parents that forbid interracial dating probably teach their kids that racism in other contexts is wrong.
— Pam Spaulding (@pamspaulding) April 6, 2012
Linda Desai Huh...Racism is Ugly...it does not need to be swept under the rug....pretending it does not exist!!....Bravo to Anderson Cooper for his attempt to educate us and show our ignorance!!!
— Matthew Murphy (@murfyzlaw) April 5, 2012
Kristina Wood Dunn I think even when there isn't racism in a home kids notice at a young age that we are not all the same colors. It is how parents address the issue with them that is important.
Becca Mertens fascinating study. it brings up a lot of questions I never really considered. I hope I raise my kids to know that God made everyone different and theres nothing wrong with being friends with kids of other races and dating anyone of a different race.
— Stan Hallas (@StanHallas) April 5, 2012
— One Man Crow Murder (@MeWeFree) April 5, 2012
Appreciate this special – it's always helpful to see abstract concepts lived out in real life. Would love to see Asians, Hispanics, Polynesians included more in this conversation to understand the construction and consequences of race in more than a black-white dichotomy. DanekaS
— MJ (@bridgesm06) April 5, 2012
April Boutilier-Ferguson I believe it starts as early as they open their eyes and observe their environment that is either negative or positive toward other races -religion n so forth. Remember, we r all born with a clean slate that is determined by our environment.
— Holly Robinson Peete (@hollyrpeete) April 3, 2012
— Steve Akins (@SteveAkinsSEO) April 3, 2012
— Leslie Hoglund (@kdsrock) April 3, 2012
I watched this and I was amazed by what I saw. I live in South Africa and I grew up during the apartheid democracy transition Although we had a black domestic worker, I was taught that we are not different even though she and her children were black, and they lived in a seperate area in town. George
— Maria Shriver (@mariashriver) April 2, 2012
Shelly Sidhu My daughter is seven and honestly I'm not ready to think about her dating ANYBODY for at least ten more years but I would hope we would approach it the same way my parents did when I brought home her father for the first time. They didn't just see him as an Indian, but as someone who treated me well, was of good character and sincere.
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) April 2, 2012
— April Gabrielle', MA (@NoBrokenHome) April 7, 2012
My daughters are five and three and if they were put on video, I don't know what they would say - I know what I think they would say about race, but you never know until the camera is on front of them...The reason why I'm optimistic about the video (Kids on Race) is because it shows when kids are exposed to diverse environments, they respond to the diversity that they see and they're more able to accept people..." Omekongo
I think racism definitely still exists. The solution will be more dialogue and more understanding. liereport
We never, as parents, brought up the subject of racism with our children...We just assumed our children would learn to like most people, hopefully...racism will probably always exist no matter what. Joanniebalon