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.
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