Before COVID, our boys had a pretty good schedule. They were well engaged. Appropriately exposed to technology and pretty balanced with homeschool work and foolery. COVID has caused havoc among homeschoolers of color too! Adding the trauma of being black …….this is a conversation that should have been on the table.
First, let’s clear up some stereotypes. Yes, all five of my sons play basketball. Yes, we love watermelon. Yes, we travel as a family, which includes their dad (some of the time). Yes, we read books. And yes, we are very black. Oh. we also homeschool and grow food in our back yard. There, that was easy.
Now here’s the problem, anti-black bigotry in America can take many forms, some overt, and some harder to measure. Today, I’m talking about microaggressions. Little to mid-size insidious moments that build up to bigger issues when not checked. When half of their world has been shut down, and the other half is trying to figure out how to COVID homeschool, so much is freshly illuminated with social media and our kids see it all! As many times as they choose to. And that adds to the problem.
When our children see and hear us adults experiencing racial discrimination not only do they have that mental anguish. Reports are coming through daily speaking on the secondhand exposure to racism, such as harassment of black men, killings of unarmed black men by police, can harm the mental health of black Americans.
If you reading this post is like me, raising black sons, know that they need to be confident in whom they are. There is a definite need to build them up now so they aren’t easily torn down by outside influences. I have my sons repeat affirmations in the morning. Nothing long and elaborate. Sometimes it’s as simple as, – “I affirm that I have been wired to move forward.” With all of the voices in the world that have the ability to affect our children’s perspectives and thoughts of themselves, it is important that we are intentional with this daily. Our new normal may not look anything like pre-COVID. That goes for protesting too.
I’m one of those parents that have marched, protested, wrote letters, and even delivered messages directly to our representative on Capital Hill. Annnnnnnnnd I’m still not sure if it’s the most successful thing to do. Now that I have these boys and can’t place them all in one carrier, i have to figure out a way to allow them to protest safely. Meaning No Rioting in the streets. It’s just too dangerous!!
A Riot Is The Language Of The Unheard. – Dr. MLK Jr.Riot- a violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd:/an impressively large or varied display of something.
Because I don’t want my children to participate in riots. I was pushed to help them discover other healthy ways to express themselves. So I helped them create their own t-shirt line. They did just about everything themselves. From selecting quotes from famous black men to finding the best platforms to sell them on. I figured if the external messages of hate, inferiority, and even no ambition can be widespread, why not share my babies shirts? They are sharing hope, empowerment, affirmations, and constant reminders of how great they are! ( Below is their slideshow. I have changed nothing. To order one go to Facebook- Click Here! )
Black Lives Matter is about the lack of consequences when black lives are taken by the hands of the police. Here are four more nuggets of fact for your Friday Muse:
- 84% of white murder victims are white
- Because of systematic racism, blacks have a higher poverty rate, suffer from poorly funded schools, and are more targeted by police.
- Black Americans are 2.5 times as likely as white Americans to be shot and killed by the police.
- Black men make up just 6% of the nation’s population.
So now. COVID is here. Everything is heightened across the board. Including our children need to be supported and constantly encouraged.