Editor's note: Tune in to AC360° tonight for the next part of the special series at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.
This week, CNN is going in-depth as part of the AC360 special "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture." Soledad teamed up with Anderson for the project, talking to some children who had some provocative opinions on race.
This morning on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," Soledad profiles Davionne, a 6-year-old African-American boy who struck researchers with his overwhelmingly negative opinions on interracial friendships.
There was no question about how he felt on mixed friendships. He told the tester that kids cant play together if theyre not the same color.
"Why cant you play together if you dont have the same skin?" the tester asks.
"Cause your mom might not want you to play with that friend," Davionne replies.
Editor's note: Watch AC360° on Wednesday for the next part of Anderson Cooper's special series "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture" at 8 and 10 p.m. ET on CNN.
Do you make judgments about other people based on their race, and if so, at what age did you start doing that? Those questions are at the heart of a study we have been working on at AC360° for more than a year.
The question of how people react to someone else's race, consciously or not, has been much discussed since the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Many of the questions surrounding the case center on what George Zimmerman was thinking in those few minutes between first laying eyes on Martin and killing him. Was race a factor, and if so, how? Obviously, there are still many details we do not know about the shooting, but when I first heard about the incident, I thought of the study we've just concluded and are airing this week. What we discovered is that for kids as young as six, perceptions of race definitely make a difference when judging other children.
The AC360° study results indicate exposure to diversity is key for children, and young African-American kids are more optimistic about race than white kids.
Learn more about "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture"
Anderson Cooper details the results of a study commissioned by AC360° to explore children's perception of race. In Part I of the "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture" series, an in-depth look at how young children interpret ambiguous drawings and understand interracial friendships.
Editor's note: Tune in to AC360° this week for the surprising results of a groundbreaking new study on children and race. Watch "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture" at 8 and 10 p.m. ET on CNN.
A white child and a black child look at the exact same picture of two students on the playground but what they see is often very different and what they say speaks volumes about the racial divide in America.
The pictures, designed to be ambiguous, are at the heart of a groundbreaking new study on children and race commissioned by CNN's Anderson Cooper 360°. White and black kids were asked: "What's happening in this picture?", "Are these two children friends?" and "Would their parents like it if they were friends?" The study found a chasm between the races as young as age 6.
Overall, black first-graders had far more positive interpretations of the images than white first-graders. The majority of black 6-year-olds were much more likely to say things like, "Chris is helping Alex up off the ground" versus "Chris pushed Alex off the swing."
They were also far more likely to think the children pictured are friends and to believe their parents would like them to be friends. In fact, only 38% of black children had a negative interpretation of the pictures, whereas almost double - a full 70% of white kids - felt something negative was happening.
View exclusive behind-the-scenes photos of Anderson Cooper, Soledad O'Brien, host of CNN's "Starting Point," and the AC360° producers who worked on "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture," a year-long study investigating how children perceive race. Find out more about the key findings in the study and be sure to tune in this week at 8 and 10 p.m. ET for an in-depth look at the results and what parents need to know.
In this behind-the-scenes preview, Anderson Cooper describes "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture," the groundbreaking year-long investigative study that will air the week of April 2 at 8 and 10 p.m. ET. Race relations is one of the most explosive issues in America and for many, it’s one of the most taboo to talk about, especially with children. For this special report, AC360° contracted a renowned child psychologist to help us understand how race influences a child’s world.
The CNN commissioned pilot study builds on the original Doll Test’s historic research done in the 1940s that examined how African -American children interpret race, discrimination and stigma. Teaming up with child psychologist Dr. Melanie Killen, the report scientifically explored how kids view interracial contact in their daily lives. The children, ages six and thirteen, were shown images that were designed to be ambiguous to children. “What is happening in this picture” was the starting point for interviews conducted with the group of 145 African-American and Caucasian children in six schools across three states. The report explored how children’s interpretations of the images changed when the races of the characters were switched.
This series will tackle controversial issues and answer some difficult questions. Is race a factor in how children view conflicts and choose friends? Do children see race or are they, as many parents believe, socially colorblind? How, when and why do they form their opinions on race? Can those opinions change over time or at a certain age, are kids “hard-wired” about race? And does the racial make-up of their school and environment affect their opinions on race? Anderson along with CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien will share with the viewers the children’s answers and the conclusions our researcher drew from their responses.
Tweet your thoughts about the upcoming @AC360 series using hashtag #KidsOnRace. Find out more about the project from the CNN Press Room and be sure to watch starting Monday, April 2 at 8 and 10 p.m. ET on CNN.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with AC361°