unschooling Black children

MyBrownBaby Fresh links to stories I found interesting this week…

The Freedom of Unschooling: Raising Liberated Black Children Without The Restrictions of School
Akilah Richards for AtlantaBlackStar.com
When our girls were in public school, they were both labeled as gifted children and their elementary school did a great job putting together a special curriculum to fit our daughters’ appetites for information. But it was not enough, nor could it ever be, because our children — like most children — do not learn by collecting information, they learn by experience and guidance. And when you take the lid off a child’s learning environment, you really get to see their incredible capacity to absorb, interpret and utilize information to affect their environments and get what they want. Instead of trying to work within the system to lobby and hope for change, we are designing our own liberation. The four of us are learning how to seek, gather and process information using new media tools and resources instead of textbooks, teacher’s interpretations and bosses. Each of us are developing relationships with people all over the world, instead of just the people who happen to be geographically close to us by means of our careers, school or social circles. We connect with people based on our interests and goals, not just happenstance, age or geography.

The Hardest Part About Growing Up As a Transracial Adoptee
Anna Eldridge for HuffPost Teen
Last year, I went to a special event dinner evening with my father. I had worn a nice dress, heels and make-up, which is pretty rare for me. I was so excited to be out with my dad at a formal event, but all of my happiness and excitement was crushed when two of his colleagues assumed I was his Asian date. I seriously wanted to dig myself a hole and not come out the rest of the night. The same kind of assumptions are now made when I’m with my older Caucasian brothers. Sadly, most people assume I’m the girlfriend and never the sister. It’s in those moments that I wish I could shout, “I AM RELATED TO THEM!” — especially when I see the male looks they sometimes give my brothers which seem to say, “Way to score with the Asian girlfriend.” Coming to terms with THAT stereotype is the subject for another day, of course, but when I see our photos together, I only see big brother/little sister.

When Your Eight-Year-Old Daughter Asks You What Rape Is, How Do You Answer? 

Erika Nicole Kendall for The Guardian
But then breaking news broke through my morning fogginess: “alleged gang rape …7 men … 1 woman…”. I froze in my kitchen, speechless. I walked back into the living room and she was sitting upright, staring, confused, at the television. I thought to myself, “Here we go”: my daughter is a living question factory, so if there’s something to be mentally poked, prodded, pulled apart and processed, she wants to be the one to do it. It’s easy to deal with when she’s asking about volcanoes – I might not’ve studied earth science at college, but at least I can Google. Google doesn’t know how to tell your child about rape. I sat down with my cup of tea and paused the TV: “Is there anything you’ve seen on the news today that you’d like to ask me about?” She replied: “Mommy, what’s ‘rape?’”

We Wear Blue for Autism, But is the Color Really White?
Doreen Oliver for NBCBLK
At this high profile event, led by the former head of a Fortune 500 company, attended by major media outlets and presumably wealthy donors, must I tag myself with a pin to show that I am “allowed”? There were no name badges or special wristbands that I lacked. I hadn’t breached security protocol. I was allowed in because I had RSVP’d in advance from an invitation sent to me. If I were white, would my presence even be noticed, let alone questioned? With my naturally twisted hair and skin the color of raw almonds, did I need a special ID to announce that I was “approved”? Did I have to show my papers in order to go to visit the Big House on another plantation? Did I need a blue pin to compensate for my black face? But my son had a pin. And that wasn’t good enough.

My $29 Food Stamp Challenge—And the Recipes (& Brouhaha) That Ensued
Gwyneth Paltrow for GOOP
As I suspected, we only made it through about four days, when I personally broke and had some chicken and fresh vegetables (and in full transparency, half a bag of black licorice). My perspective has been forever altered by how difficult it was to eat wholesome, nutritious food on that budget, even for just a few days—a challenge that 47 million Americans face every day, week, and year. A few takeaways from the week were that vegetarian staples liked dried beans and rice go a long way—and we were able to come up with a few recipes on a super tight budget.

9 Inspiring Photos That Show Black Ballerinas Breaking Down Barriers
Britni Danielle for TakePart.com
At first, she planned on shooting 12 little brown ballerinas, but when the casting call she issued on Facebook received responses from all over the country, she realized she was onto something. “It went viral,” she says, still surprised by the response. “That’s when I realized how very little we are represented in the ballet world, and specifically the classical ballet world.” Click through to see how Brown Girls Do Ballet has transformed into an organization that not only highlights dancers of color in strikingly beautiful photographs, but also supports them along their journey.


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