….and finally the world woke up!
I don’t know what it is about the time of Corona Virus that finally made White people wake up to the killing of Black People.
Black Lives Mattered.
They have always mattered.
When African KIngs and Queens were stolen from Africa to build this country called the United States of America.
When this country was built on land stolen from the indigenous tribes already living here by White people.
At the first Thanksgiving the Wampanoag brought corn and farming and hospitality. We gave them smallpox and encrouachment and death.
Two hundred years later, despite the genocide that has been done to black and brown bodies, we still enjoy Black Genius, Black Music, Black Poetry, Black Brilliance, Black Joy!
I say this as a White Jewish Cis-gender Hetero Male who has been given ALL the privileges and ALL the advantages. But I don’t want to play any game where the deck is so stacked against all the other players.
I say this as White Jewish Male who every year for over 40 years has celebrated the survival of being a Jew in the world. No, I have not experienced much anti-semitism directly. But yes, I am reminded every year by my cultural rituals that we too were slaves in Egypt. I am AWARE that we will NEVER FORGET the Holocaust and the that many people in many countries-not just Germany- have tried to exterminate our culture, our bodies, and our existence.
So here is my summer project:
I want to De-colonize my classroom by creating a list of 52 books-1 one for each week of the year-where I can feature the brilliance, the joy, the magic of Black boys and Girls.
Because I work in a place called Public School in America where we SAY we want to eliminate the racial achievement gap but really all I see in the past 2 decades is how we collect data but continue to fail.
How about trying to teach children to read by giving them books that act as mirrors to their brilliance not just their absence. (And of course we will teach phonics, and reading skills, and academic rigor but not JUST that!)
I dream of a different world than the one we currently occupy. AND IT’s NOT THAT FAR away.