AC360° Associate Producer
Earlier this year, AC360°, with the help of a seasoned team of researchers, conducted a pilot study based on the 1940’s doll test. In this pilot study, more than 130 kids were asked a series of questions about five cartoon dolls with varying skin tones. Half of the children were African-American and half were white, half were in the north and half in the south. The results were surprising: white children have an overwhelming white bias, and black children also have a bias toward white.
One of the most shocking responses we heard was from a five year-old African-American girl named Brielle who Anderson spoke to after her test. She said, “I just don't like the way brown looks because, it looks really nasty for some reason but I don't know what reason.” Anderson said, “So you think it looks nasty?” and Brielle replied, “Well not really but sometimes.” Hearing such a beautiful young girl say she thinks her skin looks nasty was heartbreaking. Where is a five year old getting this notion? Brielle’s father, Byron, sat down with Anderson a few months ago. His first reaction after hearing her say that was, “Wow. To be honest I kind of anticipated that from Brielle. She’s been vocal about her perceptions of skin color.”
We wanted to talk to Byron and his wife LaTisha to see how they’ve addressed the issue of race with their daughter since the Doll Study series aired on AC360°. In an interview with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, LaTisha said, “I was shocked. I did get that sinking feeling in my heart, my stomach, my gut, whatever you want to call it, because it’s our child, you know? And it’s shocking to hear your child speak of herself that way.” Byron said the doll test, “... forced some conversations that obviously needed to happen. It forced some adjustments in the way we deal with our children, which I believe needed to happen.” Byron specifically said he finds even more opportunities to tell his daughters how beautiful they are. “They are the most beautiful girls in the world as far as I'm concerned and they need to know that and I need for them to know that,” Byron said.
Watch their follow up story here:
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/americas/03/01/chile.earthquake.obrien/story.chile.looters.one.cnn.jpg caption="A soldier guards a looted mall on a main street in Concepcion, Chile, on Monday." width=300 height=169]
Soledad O'Brien and Rose Arce
The drive into Concepcion couldn't have been more dramatic. We turned the corner through a dense morning fog onto a main street and a small crowd moved into the streets against traffic. It's just two days after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake toppled walls and collapsed buildings, but people are looting.
Young men ducked beneath gates and smashed windows, yanking out boxes holding appliances and grabbing cell phones and clothes. Grown women slid between window bars and ran down streets with bags full of booty.
A large green military truck with a hose bore down on the crowd using pressurized water to deter the crowd, but soldiers patrolling with big guns did nothing to stop looters on the streets. The looting was so out of control at La Flor clothing store that a fire broke out, and clouds of black smoke filled the sky. The firefighters couldn't even fight the fire because they were too busy with the search and rescue operation.
Soledad O'Brien and Rose Arce
We couldn't have traveled farther to see the same thing.
We were returning to the United States from Haiti - where every turn continues to unveil another human tragedy even six weeks after the January 12 earthquake - when we were redirected to Chile.
An 8.8-magnitude quake had struck the area around Chile's capital, a seismic event 800 times more powerful than the one in Haiti.
Getting there was half the story. We took off from Miami, Florida, knowing the airport in Santiago was closed, so our aim was to get as close as we could. That set off a journey that would last 48 hours. We flew to Panama, Lima, Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires and Bariloche, then began a very long drive through the Patagonia region of Argentina, into Chile and north into the earthquake zone.
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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