After weeks of pandemic-focused programming, this week was supposed to be a return to our regular weekly guides, newsfeeds, and recommendations. However, this moment in history calls for joining our voices and efforts to bring about equality, justice, and progress in our nation. As a black mom of two brilliant black children, here is a message from my heart to yours.
A few nights ago, I sat with my daughters to have a conversation about the #BlackLivesMatter protests and the injustice of George Floyd’s death and too-many-other-black-people to name have faced in the hands of police officers because of their race. My oldest daughter’s response is the reason why the silence about these issues has prevailed for so long.
“But Mommy, I thought we were done with all that.“
My younger daughter also piped in, “Martin Luther King, remember?“
Sadly, we are not “done”. The truth is, we should be and can be. This moment in time calls for action at every level of government and local community but also in all of our homes.
When equality is a value that is deeply rooted in every one of our children, we become an active part of bringing about lasting change.
We become change agents by sending humans into the world who navigate the world with respect for all human life.
So, I challenge you to talk to your kids today about racial injustices that still exist in our society.
- Teach them what it means to respect another person’s life, choices, and rights.
- Teach them about the hard history between white and black people in this nation, about the progress we have made, and the work that is left to do.
- Teach them about implicit bias.
- Teach them to speak up and be an ally in classrooms, on the playground, and amongst friends, when others are being unfairly treated.
- Teach them about privilege and how to use it for good.
- Teach them to make friends with people outside of their race.
- Teach them that they must be a part of the solution.
I will be more actively doing the same in my home.
It can be difficult to know what to say or where to begin, so you will find below a number of resources that might help.
3. How do we teach our children anti-racism? The resources will help (Today Parent)
We have curated this list of books for your kids that have social justice themes based on the black experience in America.
For your younger kids:
1. Voice of Freedom by Fannie Lou Hamer
2. Steamboat School by Debrah Hopkinson
3. The Case For Loving by Selina Alko
And for older kids:
1. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
2. The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin
3. Dear Martin by Nic Stone
And perhaps for you, this compilation by Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning author of How To Be Anti-Racist and Professor, for the New York Times, might provide much-needed context on the black experience through the decades in this country.
Your parenting matters, so that, indeed, we can be “done with it”.
Lastly, this educational platform exists to meet the needs of all young girls and families to close the gaps of underrepresentation in STEM. We believe in being head-smart AND heart-smart, so we equally prioritize supporting you in raising good humans. Though females are largely underrepresented in many STEM fields, black and brown kids are even more severely left behind. Therefore, we actively work to find those little-told stories of innovators of color.
If you ever see the diversity of our content lacking, please hold us accountable.
Together in progress, Abi Olukeye