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Focused on The Foundation

Subgroups: “People of Color”, “Minority”… ugh

I’ve always disliked the term “people of color”. I’m not always great at expressing my feelings. So as racial injustice have in the media recently, that word has intensified that feeling of irritation. Clearly you see that’s changing if you read my blogs! #ShamlessPlug Go read them and comment! Lol! 

I feel like the term shows white or Caucasian persons some elite-ness, superiority over everyone else. At first I felt like maybe I felt like this knowing I have many races and ethnicities within my ancestry. Then, reality set it. I’m Black, when you see me that’s what you see is all my Melanin Magic! I can’t hide it and if you know me you also know I don’t try to hide it at all! Lol! I love my diverse family! It’s beautiful! It allows me to see the world through so many lens! 

I recently stumbled across the quote below on twitter and felt led to look deeper into the author of the quote.

“When you use the term minority or minorities in reference to people, you’re telling them that they’re less than somebody else.” ~Gwendolyn Brooks 

I said oh my goodness …. we must be kindred spirits because this is a word. I love poetry and reading books. She was the first African American women to win the Pulitzer Prize. Upon researching this women, I stumbled across another quote of hers, written below…

“Don’t let anyone call you a minority if you’re black or Hispanic or belong to some other ethnic group. You’re not less than anybody else.” ~Gwendolyn Brooks

Sis Yassss!!! You just gone come with facts!?! Words are very powerful! Acknowledge my color. Don’t try to separate me from the perspective of me being less than anyone else. Yet embrace me for my uniqueness and include me at the table. Give me Justice, not just Equity and Equality! 

Gwendolyn Brooks at her typewriter. Courtesy of Getty Images. Learn more about her at: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/gwendolyn-brooks

It literally grinds my gears when people say people of color. It makes me feel like they are saying everyone is less than white/Caucasian people!!! That is a lie! So in my brain saying people of color is like saying minority. Why do we have to be grouped separately? This further goes to prove my movement to ReBuild the foundation of education. It was built with these theories and practices in mind of one being better than others. We will continue this cycle of trying to “bridge the gap” as long as we continue to do patch work on the educational system.

So in data that we collect and research that we conduct in early childhood, can we create an even playing field? Let’s stop grouping Black and Brown children separately from their white counterparts. Let’s begin to create even playing fields for all races and ethnicities. Yes it is vital for this data collection to happen, however, when we create solutions to challenges, enhanced curriculums, policies and procedures, can we PLEASE be inclusive to ALL children and not just the ones in particular categories. For example, literacy in each classroom should represent the students served in that learning environment. Many students unconsciously dislike books because they don’t see themselves in the books. Making connections enhances the learning process. Many curriculums have mandatory books yet don’t think of the students served from a representation, exploration, and conversation perspective. 

The many initiatives to bridge the gaps and make even playing fields doesn’t seem to put policies and procedures in place to create justice for all. Think about the books in the curriculum you utilize as a teacher, think about the books your children read for school, think about the books you see winning national awards; are they diverse just like the society we live in? Adding diverse books is great for everyone, it teaches us all to embrace difference in a beautiful way.

Think about Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, PRIDE Month… Black History is 365 just as well as Hispanic Heritage and LGBTQ is. Until ALL are included in textbooks, curriculums, policies, and procedures then passionate people will continue to segregate to make themselves heard. 

So this might seem like a big task to achieve or change but we can start small. STOP utilizing the term when speaking and writing. Suggest alternative methods to get point across. When we create goals specific to one race to bridge the gap, speak on the importance of acknowledging why the gap exist while expressing the capability of the students within the system. Also be sure the system is fixed with equal access to opportunities and tools for ALL.

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