I can't begin this post without commenting that this morning The King's Speech was nominated for 12 Oscar awards--including Colin Firth for Best Actor. All righty? Since all is right with the world, let's move on.
Over the weekend David and I attended a conference at a local university about Educating Children of Color. The conference was unique because it asked teens, parents, and educators to attend. Very cool. David has gone twice in the past, but this was my first time. Overall, I learned some great things. Nothing earth-shattering, but I suppose that's because we live, eat, and breathe education and my children happen to be black. I was mostly pleased to see that members of our district school board were in attendance, teachers and counselors were there from many schools, including my kids' schools. They were being exposed and educated on this great topic and it warmed my heart.
There were a lot of breakout sessions that I could choose from, as well at two phenomenal keynote speakers. It's too much information to post here, but I'll tell you what struck me the most and what I took away from the conference. Children/students are inclined to believe that if information is in a textbook, it is true and valuable. If information is not in a textbook, it must not be important--or worse, not true. Textbooks in America overall are guilty of telling the African American story from a Caucasian perspective, which results in a lack of rich and diverse information. It is my job as a parent to fill those gaps where I see them. Until our country educates all children in a fair and unbiased way, parents need to step up to supplement cultural history and cultural pride.
Remember this past summer when we began reading biographies aloud at the dinner table? My kids have requested that we do it year round. And I agree. Especially after learning what I did at this conference. You can bet we will still read about all kinds of people, but now more than ever our focus will be on people that are often left out of their history lessons and who paved the road for a better life for my family and my kids.