Racism From An 8th Grader’s Perspective: A Generational Public Service Announcement

We tend way too much to think of eighth graders in stereotype—to dismiss them as incredibly self-centered little human beings. Spacey. Sullen. Hormonal. A little crazy. But if you can break through the wall—if you can truly connect with them in a meaningful way—you find, easily, that there’s a whole lot going on in those young teen brains. Maybe they don’t want to share it with us, but we shouldn’t mistake the distance for disinterest. They are capable of thinking quite deeply.

Such is the case with this merry band of 8th graders, led by the brilliant, beautiful mind of Oman Frame, an eccentric, wildly creative teacher who absolutely adores, among other things, middle graders, his wife and baby, deep discussion and hip hop. Oman helped his class put together this amazing  video—conceived, written and produced by the students—after they made clear that they wanted to “make a change in their world.” They chose to do so by talking candidly about race.

There is no need for me to preface the piece; their words, their emotions, their thoughts say it all. Press play. Be inspired. And while you’re at it, show it to your babies.

 

RELATED POSTS:

1. Why White People Should Teach Their Kids About Race
2. Fighting Words: What Happens When You Call A Black Child the N Word.
3. To Raise Successful Black Kids, You Have to Teach Them Black English
4. Florida Teens Post Racist Video—and Reveal Their Own Ignorance

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Denene Millner

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.

4 Comments

  1. Denene,
    Hi! I’ve been a subscriber of your blog for quite awhile! I really enjoy reading it! Thank you for sharing the YouTube video! I have forwarded the link to your blog to a few friends of mine from work, and shared the link to this post on twitter today.

  2. Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Thank you so much for sharing! I’ll be passing this one, and as a teacher of high school students I’ll be taking away a few ideas :)

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