There is a saying that something is better than nothing. Sometimes that something, when packaged in a negative way can do much more harm than nothing. This is one reason I have embarked on this journey of inundating minority children with images that show them who they can be to contradict what the world often says they are or should be.
This great nation has done little to discourage the willful ignorance surrounding the magnificent contributions, inventions and innovations of minority people. The history books have been written in a way that minority children often only see themselves represented as property, a commodity to be bought and sold. My daughter has often stated how she dislikes the fact that none of the people that she reads about at home are represented in her books at school. This has led to a lack of interest in "school history", not to be confused with an accurate accounting of minorities in history. If we are not making the attempt to teach our children something different outside of school, what are they learning about who they come from?
Everyone has to be aware and conscious of the impact of the language used to describe our children. Throughout history, language was intentionally used to create fear around black people, especially black men. Terms such as savage, brute, villains, demons, etc. was used. These days the terms have changed to thugs and hoodlums, but the meaning and intent remains the same.
We all have to work diligently and intentionally to show and tell our children that they come from greatness. If they have a solid understanding that we are the epitome of strength, resilience and brilliance will this help close the divide that often leads our children to believe they are somehow inferior in beauty, smarts and ability? Will this help our children's friends of other ethnicities to get rid of these biases also? What about our children's teachers who can often carry these biases into the classroom which leads them to treat children of color differently?
White parents, how can you help change the narrative and work hand-in-hand to help usher in change in our classrooms and communities?
I want to hear from you on how you teach your child that they are much more than what they often see on television or in the news?
15 year old Essynce Moore, most well known as a young author of a series of books, including "6th Grade Middle School Chronicles: Where NO Secrets Are Kept". She has authored 3 books that are being used as mandatory reading by multiple school districts and opened a Spa & Boutique in New Jersey. Essynce Couture Spa & Boutique caters to the tween crowd, offering mani/pedis, hairstyling, birthday parties and shopping from her Essence Couture line and other brands.
Essynce was also named Teenpreneur of the Year in Black Enterprise. The mayor of Hillside, NJ declared May 26, 2016 "Essynce Day". This young lady is an inspiration to young people everywhere. At only 15 years old, I can't wait to see what else she has in store for us.
Positive representation matters!