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Fundies and Black History Month


roddma

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Just now, Cleopatra7 said:

Black History Month was originally Negro History Week, and the week that was chosen was meant to coincide with Abraham Lincoln's birthday. 

Oh, thanks!

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16 minutes ago, refugee said:

It saddens me; I wanted to raise them with the idea that race doesn't matter, that we all bleed red, we all have hopes and dreams and struggles... but their skin color made them targets for bullies at the park and pool. Even though we talked about how they were getting a personal view of how it was to grow up as a member of a minority, which gave them some perspective into the Civil Rights movement, and gave them a strong interest in social justice, still, in their personal lives, it doesn't apply. And they don't seem to see the disconnect.

I'm sorry if any of this is badly put and offensive. My brain is still very fuzzy from this respiratory infection, and I'm having trouble putting thoughts together.

 

Please don't take this personally because I don't intend it to be a personal attack in the least. 

I think setting up the notion that "race doesn't matter" does more harm than good. Your children did learn (by being bullied) that race does affect how others view and treat us. That might be why there's some disconnect in their lives. I think a better approach is to teach children to acknowledge and appreciate the differences in others rather than promoting "colorblindness". Several people have told me that they "don't see my race" or that "I'm not black to them" but it just further reinforces the white/inoffensive=good and black/other=bad. There are people who are much smarter than me who have presented great commentary on this subject. 

Also as a general statement- PLEASE don't equate being bullied or being white in a multi-ethnic neighborhood to being a minority/the Civil Rights movement. You may mean well but there is SO MUCH MORE to the situation outside of "they were disliked because of the color of their skin". There isn't really a modern equivalent that you can draw comparison to in my opinion. 

If anyone is confused or wants more substantial sources let me know and I will try to track things down for you.

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2 minutes ago, purple_summer said:

Please don't take this personally because I don't intend it to be a personal attack in the least. 

I think setting up the notion that "race doesn't matter" does more harm than good. Your children did learn (by being bullied) that race does affect how others view and treat us. That might be why there's some disconnect in their lives. I think a better approach is to teach children to acknowledge and appreciate the differences in others rather than promoting "colorblindness". Several people have told me that they "don't see my race" or that "I'm not black to them" but it just further reinforces the white/inoffensive=good and black/other=bad. There are people who are much smarter than me who have presented great commentary on this subject. 

Also as a general statement- PLEASE don't equate being bullied or being white in a multi-ethnic neighborhood to being a minority/the Civil Rights movement. You may mean well but there is SO MUCH MORE to the situation outside of "they were disliked because of the color of their skin". There isn't really a modern equivalent that you can draw comparison to in my opinion. 

If anyone is confused or wants more substantial sources let me know and I will try to track things down for you.

No, you're right. I was awfully naive when we moved into the neighborhood. Some of it has worn off, but I know there's an awful lot remaining.

ETA and thanks for the disclaimer you started off with. I've been feeling awfully stupid the last couple days, like my head is stuffed with cotton and my brain is made of fog. Yet I still keep posting... FJ has been a distraction from how lousy I feel.

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The difference in Bible slavery and "modern" slavery is that in the Bible a Jewish man would sell himself and his families to another Jewish man (not that it's okay, but that's how it was). The owner was obligated to provide adequate shelter and provisions for his slaves and then they were released every time the Year of Jubilee came around (every 50 years). So it was never meant to be a lifetime arrangement and not against the will of the person becoming a slave (except a woman who wouldn't have had a choice).

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Abeka teaches Africa woudlnt have so many 'issues' if they accepted Christianity. Here's a gem or two from BJU and A Beka. I dont know which came from which books but it's the same concept " darker skin means more inferior" :
“God used the ‘Trail of Tears’ to bring many Indians to Christ.”
"Only ten percent of Africans can read or write, because Christian mission schools have been shut down by communists."
And oh boy OMG on this one :
“the Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross… In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians.”

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@PennySycamore, it can be pretty interesting.  Secession over integration happened, but there was also a lot of white women telling black women how they should fight racism (mostly by supporting white women's lead and not expecting things to happen at anything but a glacial pace).

@purple_summer, which graphic novel?  There seem to be several. 

The prof tries to integrate minorities into all classes.  Two of the classes I've taken with her have been the "seminar in American history" style.  They also have a good "Cultural Diversity in AM Hist" intended for teachers, but I haven't been able to take it yet.

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44 minutes ago, roddma said:

Abeka teaches Africa woudlnt have so many 'issues' if they accepted Christianity. Here's a gem or two from BJU and A Beka. I dont know which came from which books but it's the same concept " darker skin means more inferior" :
“God used the ‘Trail of Tears’ to bring many Indians to Christ.”
"Only ten percent of Africans can read or write, because Christian mission schools have been shut down by communists."
And oh boy OMG on this one :
“the Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross… In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians.”

WHAT???!!!!

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Since people are being generous with suggestions, does anybody have a very early intro book - kinder level, basically - on black history that they like?

I skipped having the kids in the racism seminars at our UU church last month because I felt like it was introducing the idea of race as a problem needing solution before the kids even seem to be aware at all (second day titled something like "What Can We Do?"), but I think there's research about very young white kids noticing race and formulating their own theories without asking questions of their parents.  Since the kids have been working on world maps in pre-K, I've started using their work to talk about how people on the different continents can look different from each other, light skin is good for places where there isn't as much sun, people with brown skin usually have ancestors who came from hotter climates, Africa was the birthplace of humanity, just basic stuff that doesn't address American culture.

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1 hour ago, martian said:

Since people are being generous with suggestions, does anybody have a very early intro book - kinder level, basically - on black history that they like?

I skipped having the kids in the racism seminars at our UU church last month because I felt like it was introducing the idea of race as a problem needing solution before the kids even seem to be aware at all (second day titled something like "What Can We Do?"), but I think there's research about very young white kids noticing race and formulating their own theories without asking questions of their parents.  Since the kids have been working on world maps in pre-K, I've started using their work to talk about how people on the different continents can look different from each other, light skin is good for places where there isn't as much sun, people with brown skin usually have ancestors who came from hotter climates, Africa was the birthplace of humanity, just basic stuff that doesn't address American culture.

Do you want strictly books or a mix of books and films? I could probably gather some things for you.

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A mix would be great!  Thank you so much!  I've been looking around for books that are accessible to little kids, but I'm really leery of the "white child teaches black friend who's a slave to read" kinds of things I'm finding.  We don't need a white protagonist, that seems like crap to me, though I'm probably slandering somebody's treasured classic.

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@martian I'm just going to post amazon links if that's ok. 

Spoiler

 

http://www.amazon.com/Story-Ruby-Bridges-Special-Anniversary/dp/0439472261/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1454905192&sr=8-2&keywords=ruby+bridges 

http://www.amazon.com/My-First-Biography-Martin-Luther/dp/0545142334/ref=pd_sim_14_54?ie=UTF8&dpID=51l%2BC9EHO%2BL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=03V6H58FA1RJ053AFZRA 

http://www.amazon.com/My-First-Biography-Harriet-Tubman/dp/0545232570/ref=pd_sim_14_5?ie=UTF8&dpID=51oGz2i87hL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=0AEM2BBDME2YY63962CF 

http://www.amazon.com/Black-History-Thompson-Communication-Books/dp/0931761956/ref=pd_sim_14_57?ie=UTF8&dpID=51dhHx3Z2dL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=110TJP2SY4WVZ215Y30H 

http://www.amazon.com/Freedom-Song-Story-Henry-Brown/dp/006058310X/ref=pd_sim_14_82?ie=UTF8&dpID=61XmYw%2Ba4EL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=012H57WYKF0BHDNQKTMS 

http://www.amazon.com/We-March-Shane-W-Evans/dp/1250073251/ref=pd_sim_14_17?ie=UTF8&dpID=516cV%2BzHJPL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR124%2C160_&refRID=1D41569TVBBHEKQNMT2M 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Journey-Henry-Box-Brown/dp/0977848701/ref=pd_sim_74_7?ie=UTF8&dpID=51NKSCN3QFL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR114%2C160_&refRID=0ZQA1E09C81DZJ3TRH49 

http://www.amazon.com/Garretts-Gift-Queen-Latifah/dp/097784871X/ref=pd_sim_74_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51BIxDItiBL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR114%2C160_&refRID=0RX59W1Z21ZQ5V0KBQSK 

http://www.amazon.com/March-Stories-African-American-History/dp/B002RB56XG/ref=pd_sim_74_35?ie=UTF8&dpID=51GxrI4YnRL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR113%2C160_&refRID=1DDQAV37892HAAMFRM30 

 

I hope these are helpful, if there's any specific subject/time period you'd like to cover let me know. There's a lot out there.

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These are very helpful!  And Amazon apparently has "children's prejudice and racism" as a category, so I feel like a dumbass for not realizing that.  I love the look of "Freedom Song", both the language and illustrations, and it talks about picking tobacco, which gives me a way to hook it into family history since my grandfather picked tobacco by hand, so that is definitely going on the list. My only reservation is that I was holding back from introducing racial discussion by talking about slavery. I don't know if I'm overthinking this, it is five year olds I'm talking about, and I'm not sure how to articulate this.  Maybe it's that I feel like the first stories that make an impression on them will form the lens through they see everything that comes after, and beginning with kingdoms and empires and folktales is a very different vantage point than beginning with a time of bondage and oppression.  I don't know, I don't feel like I'm expressing myself coherently here.

Bopping around on the links from "Freedom Song", though, I found a book called "The Skin You Live In" which seems terrific just on the "look at all the beautiful colours we come in" level to open discussion, so thank you for that, too.  "Garrett's Gift" also looks wonderful.

Man, I hope somebody else jumps on the thread drift so I can feel like it's more of a discussion and less all me, begging for attention.

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My kids loved Amazing Grace--not a history book but about empowerment. The main character's illustrations were the spitting image of my younger daughter at that age, so probably I'm biased.

Maybe for kids a little older, there's The People Could Fly, a great collection of folk tales that touch on slavery times but aren't just about it. 

The Boy Who Didn't Believe in Spring was another favorite

 

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4 hours ago, older than allosaurs said:

My kids loved Amazing Grace--not a history book but about empowerment. The main character's illustrations were the spitting image of my younger daughter at that age, so probably I'm biased.

Maybe for kids a little older, there's The People Could Fly, a great collection of folk tales that touch on slavery times but aren't just about it. 

The Boy Who Didn't Believe in Spring was another favorite

 

I second Amazing Grace!  Can't say enough great things about the book!  

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7 hours ago, older than allosaurs said:

My kids loved Amazing Grace

I'm pretty sure I still have my Amazing Grace doll somewhere.... 

@martian you just made the case for why black history should be taught all year in tandem with "regular history", not just during the month of February. If you want something non-history but more folklore related I LOVED The People Could Fly and any of the Ananzi the spider tales. There are also a ton of great reading rainbow episodes dealing with black children's literature. 

Just as a general note, I understand your concern (and I'm not sure of the diversity in your particular church) but please remember that minority kids don't have the privilege of waiting until they're older before learning about the tough stuff. This is why age-appropriate books exist. And I'd argue that it's important going forward that kids know about America's dark past so they can be active participants in helping to correct things now.

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7 hours ago, older than allosaurs said:

My kids loved Amazing Grace--not a history book but about empowerment. The main character's illustrations were the spitting image of my younger daughter at that age, so probably I'm biased.

Maybe for kids a little older, there's The People Could Fly, a great collection of folk tales that touch on slavery times but aren't just about it. 

The Boy Who Didn't Believe in Spring was another favorite

 

Thank you so much for the recommendations!  "Amazing Grace" is hitting our sweet spot, I think my kids will really identify with her love of dress up.  The illustrations in "The People Could Fly" are gorgeous, too.

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43 minutes ago, purple_summer said:

I'm pretty sure I still have my Amazing Grace doll somewhere.... 

@martian you just made the case for why black history should be taught all year in tandem with "regular history", not just during the month of February. If you want something non-history but more folklore related I LOVED The People Could Fly and any of the Ananzi the spider tales. There are also a ton of great reading rainbow episodes dealing with black children's literature. 

Just as a general note, I understand your concern (and I'm not sure of the diversity in your particular church) but please remember that minority kids don't have the privilege of waiting until they're older before learning about the tough stuff. This is why age-appropriate books exist. And I'd argue that it's important going forward that kids know about America's dark past so they can be active participants in helping to correct things now.

We've just started some Anansi stories, actually.  The kids love them.

I get that my kids are being afforded an unearned luxury in being introduced to hard truths as I feel they're ready.  When I was younger, I imagined that racism was fading naturally as old racists died off, and that any kids I had would of course not be racist without any work at all on my part.  I was just stupidly naive, and the last seven years or so of watching white America collectively shit its pants has I hope opened my eyes for good.  I completely agree that all kids, mine included, need to hear the truth.  So, I'm anxious about setting this foundation right with my kids.  And I'm an obsessive over-thinker in general, it's my default setting.  

My church is not terribly diverse.  By happenstance, my kids' Sunday school class is them  and a little black girl with one black and one white teacher, but the church as a whole is probably 98 percent white.  There's a large Black Lives Matter sign out front, though, and one of the ministers takes anti-racist work as his mission.  Basically, everyone is incredibly well intentioned, but I'm sort of knee-jerk wary of white people teaching white people about racism which is how the seminars struck me.

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1 hour ago, martian said:

My church is not terribly diverse.  By happenstance, my kids' Sunday school class is them  and a little black girl with one black and one white teacher, but the church as a whole is probably 98 percent white.  There's a large Black Lives Matter sign out front, though, and one of the ministers takes anti-racist work as his mission.  Basically, everyone is incredibly well intentioned, but I'm sort of knee-jerk wary of white people teaching white people about racism which is how the seminars struck me.

I'm not sure what area you're in but consider reaching out to local churches that are more diverse. My church used to send deacons to read black history stories at schools for the entire month of Feb. I'm sure you could find a person or group willing to help.

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4 hours ago, purple_summer said:

I'm not sure what area you're in but consider reaching out to local churches that are more diverse. My church used to send deacons to read black history stories at schools for the entire month of Feb. I'm sure you could find a person or group willing to help.

That sounds like a workable suggestion to me, and I think the minister would be very receptive.  I still have to take the membership class to be officially a member, but I don't think UUs stand on ceremony much, so I can at least get the ball rolling and figure things will take time to make it into the calendar.  I'm sort of surviving in crash position right now, personally, but engaging something larger than myself could only be for the better.

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I don´t have any input on the topic it self. But I just want to pop in and say how much I like it how fast this topic became about changing good homeschool information. You realy help eachother out here. 

And we all know how FJ is against homeschooling, don´t we Erika?! :giggle:

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On 2/8/2016 at 6:00 AM, purple_summer said:

I'm pretty sure I still have my Amazing Grace doll somewhere.... 

@martian

Where were we when this came out? I absolutely would have gotten it.

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8 hours ago, older than allosaurs said:

Where were we when this came out? I absolutely would have gotten it.

I have no idea. I've had the doll since I was maybe 4 or 5, it's been so long I don't even remember. 

Z0069330.jpg

I've since lost the skirt though.

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Awww. Thank you for that. Here was our little Amazing Grace lookalike, 20+ years ago. Nowadays she's elegant, but she still has that fire in her eyes.

Spoiler

56bacbac3aa3a_deshanna1991.jpg.11000f8fd

 

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