Wide Awake

“Does slavery still exist?” -Nathan

The unexpected question I received from our 6 year old as we were exploring North Africa. “Yes… baby it does and it’s happening right here!,” pointing to the area on the map we were studying.

Their faces… The shock, disgust, sadness, and my heart in a thousand pieces.

Them: How do we stop it?

Me: I don’t know what we can do to stop it baby. Start with researching, learning more about what’s really going on. Don’t ignore it, don’t let people forget it, and shed light as much light on the issue as you can.

From there we’ve been able to discuss colorism, racism, and antiblackness, stereotypes and so on. Not all at once, just as much as they want to whenever they want to. They care so deeply about the issues of the world.

They were so irritated by the nonchalant way Native American history, slavery, and civil rights was discussed at their previous school. My oldest would come home saying “They talk about our history like they don’t even care. Sometimes the children laugh. I hate it.”

Now they are able to have conversations with someone who cares and gives them time, space to feel. If schools aren’t teaching history with truth and passion it’s pointless. And, if they continully ignore current issues our children are doomed. Doomed to a typical, heartless, individualistic western mentality that got us in this mess.

These conversations don’t come in a pre-packaged curriculum. They come randomly with each new day, each new experience, and we all agree it’s one of the best parts of our home education journey.

There are so many lessons to grasp from these tough conversations. One takeaway, NEVER be afraid or ashamed to love yourself outloud in a world that puts so much effort into hating you and tries to teach you to hate yourself. Also, anti-blackness is global, and white supremacy just isn’t for white people.

Poem⬇️⬇️⬇️

People of Color by Natalie Pipkin

Simple solidarity
Having a shared enemy
Coming together conveniently
While ignoring issues currently & historically.

“Do the work” isn’t a just phrase to say to white women.
It’s for every NON-BLACK POC with an ounce of anti-blackness in ’em.

Whose got a racial slur resting on their toungue in their native language
Who sees black bodies drop and feels not a bit of anguish.

Check your momma & your grandma
Shake your family tree
And don’t forget , “do the work” internally.

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No part of this blog may be reproduced in any manner without permission in writing from the author.

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To Be Honest…

Homeschool has been EXCITING, LIBERATING, life giving and at moments CHALLENGING. Reversing my oldest child’s occasional cant’s to can’s makes me teary-eyed. When he shares the negative words that have hurt him during his time at school anger and regret overcome me. He was an honor roll student, perfect to a fault, a teacher’s dream. You know what though, recieving honor roll doesn’t matter if they steal your confidence. A piece of paper means nothing if you aren’t whole.

Who we allow to stand before children, who has their ear can change their mind and shake their confidence. Plus the images he saw on a regular basis. His black peers flooding the halls & missing the lesson for minor issues like not raising their hand before answering. The words, the treatment, the disgust teachers showed when parents weren’t around. He saw it all. He spoke up too.

Then there’s my doing. The many years I felt I had to “break” him just to be sure he wouldn’t break their rules. Just so he could fit into their world 8 hours a day. He knew he could release at home and be himself, but in the morning he had to recall one of the many speeches I’d given about “what you dont do around white folks”, and how one mistake can stick with you for all your years in school. Basically “you’re a black boy, and you don’t get to mess up outside this house!” He listened. Every single day for 4 years . He never gave me a reason to believe he wasn’t at his best at school already, but I had to MAKE SURE he didn’t get labeled. Anomalies. That’s what my sons were believed to be. You know what though, that’s still a label. That too is racism.

I saw him gasping for air this last year. Perfection is too heavy of a weight to carry. The youngest only spent Kindergarten in the school so he didn’t have the same load. Even in his near perfection the school didn’t listen to his thoughts or concerns, he wasn’t allowed to express his feelings, his hurt was minimized, and his concerns were diminished or ignored as if they weren’t real. So he saved his tears, his questions, his rage for home.

Listen. All the prepping and breaking black mothers do to prepare our children from white spaces will not protect them from stereotypes, labels, racism. They will still have to prove with each encounter, and every inch they grow that they are one of the “good ones” Their pefection, obedience, and emmaculate emotional maturity may allow them to assimilate, but it won’t set them free.

Bringing them home allows me the time and space to admire my children as the beautiful, loving, compassionate, justice seekers they already are instead of fussing out of fear what they “better not be.”

They love God, themselves, their family, and their history. I don’t have to break them or prep them just for white supremacy to finish them off. I will just let them be the amazing individuals God created them to be. The world will have to adjust.

Peace & Love,

Black Worldschoolers™️

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Stereotypes and Circle Time: Overt Racism in Primary School

Image from Jim Crow Museum

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can get me killed. Specifically words and images that headline news papers, flash across tv screens, and show up in educational resources in the classroom.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Eric Garner. However, racist stereotypes made Eric a target to begin with.

Systemic racism effects what we are taught, how we are taught, and who teaches.Do your educational tools double as tools of oppression?

Racist Phonics Placemat

4 years ago I purchased this phonics place mat for my oldest who was 5 at the time. We got home and began going through the blends until we reached the word THUG accompanied by the image below.

“THUG” on primary school learning tool!

The caricature scared him. I internalized my fury, gave a quick explanation and tucked it away. A few months ago I brought it out again for my youngest forgetting ALL ABOUT the negative imagery. Nathan, (5 and ready for phonics) saw the image said “Why do they make everyone who is black bad.” Mind you he just called out a local daycare mural we passed that had a brown boy with an angry face.

Words hurt and stereotypes kill. Today as I reflect on the tragic, senseless death of Eric Garner, I wonder how many educators have taught the subtle message over and over, year after year, that “black equals bad”

I wonder how many of you believe #thug is an appropriate vocabulary term for a primary student.

I am sick at the thought of how many homes, stores, and schools carry this violent placemat.

Many of you are stuck wondering, “How can I dismantle systemic racism?” Today you can do it one placemat at a time.

Please contact Painless Learning Placemats who creates this resource.

http://www.painlesslearning.com

Also contact Amazon, United Art & Education, and any other known distributors until they are ALL removed!

I’m saving and dating my placemat as an artifact of the times. 2018 and the “black brute” stereotype still lives. We have work to do.

To learn more about racial stereotypes over the years please visit the Jim Crow Museum link below.

https://ferris.edu/jimcrow/mammies/#

Peace & Love,
Black Worldschoolers™️
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Lies The Author Told You

Look. I wanted to love this book. In fact I didn’t even finish it before I began raving about it. However, pages 181 and 302 are a problem! While the title of the book and hype around the author declare him a truth teller, there are still lies within the pages.

The author’s suppressed, undealt with #whitesupremacy reared it’s ugly head on page 181. This is where James Loewen wants to persuade readers that Lincoln was “a good guy who loved black people” and that black nationalist are purposely leaving out the last line of Lincoln’s 1862 letter to Horace Greenly ruin Lincoln’s legacy.

Well, while we were visiting the Lincoln Memorial in April we saw this…

(Lincoln’s letter to Horace Greeley August 22, 1862)

…in the museum underneath the Lincoln Memorial

Even the NATION’S CAPITAL left out the last sentence! Maybe because it doesn’t matter. He said what he said and one more sentence doesn’t change a thing. In fact the History Channel has WAY BETTER facts! Link below⬇️⬇️⬇️

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.history.com/news/5-things-you-may-not-know-about-lincoln-slavery-and-emancipation

⬆️⬆️⬆️

Then there is p. 302 where he disses Afrocentricity and NEVER defines it.

This is a gross prejudicial assumption that seeks to define & demonize African intellectual history. The author was comfortable sharing quotes from those who denounce Afrocentricity, but failed to seek a true definition from African scholars who have spent decades researching, teaching and even starting PHD programs in the growing field.

Afrocentricity, Africology, African American Studies, etc. all seek to tell the WHOLE STORY; Centering the marginalized and sharing the truth, beauty, wisdom, experiences, shortcomings, accomplishments, and yes, even the downfalls of our history.

James Loewen’s views are one of many reasons why African scholars are important. Superiority likes to define who you are, decide what you should do and discourage any further research.

Peace & Love,

Black Worldschoolers™️

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Black Worldschoolers™️: It’s More Than Travel

Three months ago today I started this blog, joined Instagram decided we were #blackworldschoolers. Since then we’ve received TONS of love, support and amazing followers! THANK YOU!

We also receive lots of questions and comments ranging from “What are your travel plans?”, or “We wish we had travel plans!” Yes, we have MODEST travel plans. Two domestic and one International experience each year making Africa/African Diaspora priority.

Let me tell you secret though…

Let me say it again. YOU DON’T NEED A PASSPORT to be a Black Worldschooler! In fact, you may already BE a Black Worldschooler and don’t even know it!

When we were completing our final year in the school system and preparing for this journey , we promised never to forget about the black children who are stuck inside the classrooms, yet remain outside of the curriculum.

They are the reason this blog even exist. We hope you will remember them as well.

Bottom line, you can be in school, unschooled, homeschooled and still be a #blackworldschooler. #blackworldschoolers is less about travel and more about how we see ourselves in the world.

We believe centering the wisdom, truth, experiences, achievements, and beauty of Africans and those throughout the African Diaspora can have a unbelievably powerful impact on black children around the globe.

We invite you to join us on this journey of self love, cultural appreciation, and black liberation.

The Founding Fathers Fantasy

I loved every moment of our short trip to Philly, but the site where we spent the most time was The President’s House. The President’s House was a memorial site sharing the story of nine enslaved Africans owned by the 1st U.S. president, George Washington.

The story of Oney Judge struck us the most.

It wasn’t just her escape to freedom that caught our attention, but it was the aggressive efforts of George Washington. He ordered the Secretary of the Treasury, other prominent leaders, and slave catchers to capture Oney and her newborn by force if necessary.

FAST FORWARD 1 WEEK LATER…

“Mommy my head hurts really bad.” That’s what my then 5 year old said as he was asked to sit in front of the painting below and discuss all the “great” attributes of George Washington.

I rarely missed a field trip, and was grateful to be there to comfort him and wipe his Kindergarten tears. He traveled half way across the country to learn the truth to come back to school and be fed a lie.

He had a long list of questions including, “Why do teachers lie so much.”

Classical Eurocentric indoctrination requires you to be ignorant. In fact the school we just left says that the children come into their school ignorant, until they give them culture, habits, and a #ChristCentered environment. Sick right?!

THIS IS WHY WE HOMESCHOOL!

Classical Education is TOXIC !

The entire American school system is a problem, but Classical Education is a monster that needs to be taken down!

Blissfully Black

Wanna see America get uncomfortable REAL quick? Say #BLACK

Wear your ” I’m Black and I’m Proud” t-shirt.

(Black Vibe Tribe t-shirt)

Take your BLACKness to school, work, or your “diverse” church. Read black books, sing black hooks. When we say black why do they get so #shook ?

Listen. This is not an explanation. I repeat THIS IS NOT AN EXPLANATION. This is my declaration.

👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾

We Say BLACK (By Natalie Pipkin)

We say BLACK in effort to rebuild what society is trying to break

We say BLACK to shield our children from the negative images, words, connotations society has glued to our backs.

We say BLACK to uplift our spirits and undo the damage.

BLACK is a life raft while swimming in the sea of white supremacy that could so easily drown us.

BLACK is our vibranium. Uniquely ours. Imitated, never duplicated. Hated and God created.

We are BLACK and we will be. Across the Earth from sea to shining sea.
Don’t be afraid to just be….
BLACK