honoring king 2019

This day for me was not merely a national holiday but a holy day where I got to honor sacred rhythms of rest and contemplation.

Reflecting on King’s legacy, I recalled that my earliest childhood learnings about him where fraught with bellyache-inducing worry and fear about the KKK and other white supremacists who brutalized, jailed and ultimately assassinated MLK and fellow Civil Rights activists. By my teens, the quickening in my gut turned into quiet groans of exasperation and impatient disinterest at the same regurgitated stories.

In all fairness, it wasn’t was limited to King — history, categorically, was made boring by the majority of my teachers, in both the public + private schools I attended.

What I ask now, as a parent, devoted learner, homeschool educator and facilitator who values and cultivates liberating spaces:

Whom does it serve to keep us bored, disinterested, fearful, anxious and disconnected from the histories of our people?


“Most of the “brethren” think that education should equip them with the proper instruments of exploitation so that they can forever trample over the masses…

Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for one’s self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths.

To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education.

Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction…

We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education…If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, “brethren!” Be careful, teachers!”

— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., The Purpose of Education


Thinking of all the WHOs, WHATs and WAYs that MLK’s life may have been inspired by, intersected with and inspired the stories/creators of stories represented in this sample selection of books we have read over the years.

I curate my kiddo’s learning in ways that bring context and build connections between people and events in our (ever-unfolding) history.

 

Read the full text here: The Purpose of Education

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who we are | contemplating gender identity + expression

who we are,

how we embody + express

all of our identities —

namely, gender + culture —

and how we respect + support the wholeness of others in embodying + expressing their multitudes is an ongoing contemplation in our home.

Last month, we discovered Who Are You?: The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity by Brook Pessin-Whedbee and discussed the gender spectrum and the many ways to be a “boy”/”girl”/”kid”…PERSON!
While my little person was still nesting in the womb, I held a blessing ceremony and invited all who were present to speak love, life and possibility over my child. my own prayer was for my soon-to-be human-baby-person to have a compassionate soul.

Parenting with a heart for justice, liberation and healing compels me to ensure that this compassionate soul cultivates a “liberating lexicon” rooted in the skillful understanding that we have the power to name ourselves and we will continue to resist the oppressive forces that tell us otherwise.

° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° °

📷 #2: kiddo’s self-understanding + expression:

i have a body that made adults guess “boy.”

i am a boy.

i like building, drawing, games. 

📷 #3: mommy’s self-understanding + expression:

i have a body that made adults guess “girl.”

i am a girl.

i like reading. 

📷 #4: two of the places we descend from…opening up the conversation around how we express culture and ethnicity. specifically, how does a brownskinned, black-identified, multi-cultured, multi-ethnic, multi-racial child express/embody their “white” part? (#howsway)  my child’s answer was all levels of woke: he basically named a certain dangerous political character and his behaviors, indicating my son’s awareness of how toxic “white pride” is expressed. 

converging histories | stevie wonder

When a story on the legendary Stevie Wonder converges into a history lesson on music, our homestate of Michigan and our amazing “Auntie B” (the talented Teal Marchande) who interviewed Stevie when she was in high school!

  • 📚: Little Stevie Wonder by Quincy Troupe
  • 🎧: Songs in the Key of Life (vol. 1 + 2)
    Stevie Wonder — Song Review
  • 💻: Showed him videos for “Isn’t She Lovely, Happy Birthday (for MLK Jr.), Ebony + Ivory (because Paul McCartney’s Blackbird is one of his favorite bedtime songs), two of my all-time faves As + All I Do, and the episode of Carpool Karaoke with Stevie!