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Monday, November 30, 2020

Helping Black Students Shine

Helping Black Students Shine
Helping Black Students Shine

by Ernie McCray

Lately I’ve been thinking of Black kids, Black students, specifically. Thinking of all the teachable moments out in the universe that I would call on to help them shine if I were in the classroom during these times.

And the first thought that came to mind is I would turn them on to what it means to be Black at this very time.

We’d talk about what we’d all just seen this past NBA season, superstars flying through the air slamming monstrous dunks and shooting rainbow 3’s with “Black Lives Matter” sewn into their jerseys.

We’d talk about the significance embedded in a Black woman taking on the role of Vice-president of the United States, the first of her gender to serve in such a capacity.

We’d talk about how Black voters showed up in large numbers, essentially rescuing a drowning democracy.

All to get them to look at themselves and think of how and where they fit in the scheme of things.

And I’d dive right in there with them as a co-learner, for sure, as we, in our studies, embrace our Blackness and continue the process of overcoming the systemic anti-Blackness colonialism that has plagued our journey for centuries.

I can see us looking into how expressions like “Eeenie meenie miney mo” or call “a spade a spade” or the “black sheep of the family” got popularized; how Black music came to be seen as “urban,” in reference to “thug life” in so many White people’s eyes.

I’d want to know if they had ever been told how “articulate” they are just because they speak grammatically?

We’d wade in the water of other cultures to get more of a sense of who we are, seeing that Native people CONTINUE READING: Helping Black Students Shine