Current Connection- Black is Beautiful

The chapter “Black is Beautiful” by Kara Hinderlie Stroman talks about the importance of students who are in kindergarten through 1st grade  learning about learning to love themselves in their own skin and to learn not about how to be comfortable in their skin, but to learn that everyday objects that are black are beautiful and to be appreciated. Throughout the chapter we read about the different things that Stroman does with her students. Some of the things that we read about is that she reads two books, “My People” by Langston Hughes and “Hair Dance!” by Dinah Johnson. She gets her students to list out objects that they see everyday that are the color black and gets them to be able to say what they think is beautiful about the object. Usually after they are done with the activity they would journal about what they did for that lesson. 

Usually when Stroman does this lesson there is resistance from the parents about what she is trying to teach the lesson with her students. The parents are always mad at the fact that Stroman is only focusing on black and not all colors, as the parents say. And Stroman is always aware of the fact that there is going to be backlash from the parents, but something that Stoman was not expecting was resistance from students. There was a student named Andrew who made fun of another student named Jasmine over the color of her skin. Stroman was able to talk to Andrew one-on-one about what he said and why what he said was wrong. Stroman wanted Andrew to be on her team, as she put it. And Andrew was able to see why what he said was wrong and was able to apologize to Jasmine. 

The video that I found for my presentation, “The Talk”. In the video it shows what African-American parents talk about with their kids on a daily basis. The video shows a mom talking to her daughter about how she is “not just pretty for a black girl” she is pretty, in general. Then it shows different parents and kids. And the parents are talking about the different things that they are going to expect while being black in America whether that be walking down the street, getting pulled over by the police, or hearing harmful words that do not define who they are as a person. And I thought this video was really important to the chapter that I presented, because in the chapter we read about how the parents and some of the students reacted to what Stroman was trying to teach in the classroom. And those points of views are important but the video is about to shine light on what African-Americans have to tell their children day-to-day. 

I feel like what Stroman is trying to teach to her students is critical to one of the things that students should be learning about this age (kindergarten- first grade). I think it is important for students to learn how to appreciate and learn to value other ethnicities that are not their own. One of the reasons that I think that is so important, because it exposes children to different cultures and shows them from an early age that there is more than just them in the world. It also teaches them the importance of being culturally aware of other cultures and how to respect them early on. 

When I was reading this chapter the one thing that I was able to relate to the chapter was the BLM Movement and what we are seeing today in the media. And students can relate it to what they are learning in the classroom by building respect for one another from a young age in the classrooms. So that when the students grow up they are able to have a sense that everyone who that students meet in their lives are treated with respect and compassion. When I was reading this chapter it made me really happy to know that there are teachers out there who are teaching young black students how to be comfortable in their own skin and how to love themselves for who they are. And to let them know that they have a lot to offer and they can accomplish so much when they grow up.

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