With all the heart-wrenching, mind-blowing crazy surrounding brown children this month—the uproar over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a teacher’s demand that her sole black student read a Langston Hughes poem “blacker,” the FDA’s approval of chemically-treated, dog food-grade pink slime meat in our children’s school lunches, the revelation that black and Latino students face harsher discipline in school than their white classmates—this video of a chorus of 5th graders at PS 22 singing “The Greatest Love Of All” in tribute to Whitney Houston gave me life today.
And literally made me cry.
Not just because it reminds me of the recent loss of one of our greatest singers, but because the beauty of their voices, the joy in their little hearts as they sing and the focus in their eyes as they really connect with the words, should remind each and every one of us that children are our future, and it’s high time we not only start acting like it, but doing what we can to advocate for our babies. Public School 22 is no stranger to the spotlight: they were the kids featured in that Target commercial singing Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep,” an ad that, when it aired during the Grammy Awards last month, turned heads. The group also recently sang “The Greatest Love Of All,” for Piers Morgan on CNN, and sang at last year’s Oscars ceremony. So popular is the group that their YouTube videos have been watched more than 41 million times.
But what I want each of you to focus on today is not the accolades and fame P.S. 22’s beautiful singing has earned them. Instead, I want you to watch those babies as they sing. See the joy in their faces, watch how they move, take note of the diversity of the group, listen to those incredibly sweet voices as they harmonize those powerful words:
I believe the children are our future Teach them well and let them lead the way Show them all the beauty they possess inside Give them a sense of pride to make it easier Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be…
Even if it’s only for a moment—only for the time it takes for you to watch the video below—let’s marinate on the power of those words and what they mean for the chorus of kids at P.S. 22, and my babies and your babies, too. Truly, our children are the greatest love of all. It’s high time we start acting like it. All of us.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.