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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Say it loud

Last month the children at head start learned about notable Blacks in history. Yup, that would be for Black History Month. The children - including my two middle ones - worked hard on their presentations for the Black History Month Program.

Excuse me one moment while I get on my soapbox: Not too long ago I read a post (I don't remember what blog) that said it was ridiculous to have one month designated for Black history. The blogger also stated, very rudely, that there isn't an Asian History Month, Hispanic History Month and so on. Although I try to teach my children "Black history" year round - I completely disagreed with that perspective. Every culture has had their rough, for lack of a better word, moments in history but no other group of people has been used as property and animals as our ancestors were here in the United States (and some abroad). Therefore, if it takes a Black History Month to educate other races and cultures about the numerous contributions we've made to this society and this world, then so be it. But, truth be told, if everyone regardless of upbringing, race, culture, religion, etc., was taught of the truth of our history there would be no need for it. We - as Blacks - often celebrate our history regardless of the month, however, it doesn't often extend beyond our community.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming... uh, posting...

I was pretty excited to see the children in action. My daughter Amareah had a part and Andre, my only son, was performing with his class. Amareah practiced her part over and over again.

"I am Maya Angelou. Still I rise."

We worked on her speaking clearly, loudly and forcefully. We practiced how she would move and what she would do: After she said "rise," she was going to push her fist into the air above her head. As she continued to practice, I watched how her personality came out with it and she would jut out her hip when her arm raised.

The teachers asked that the children dress for their parts, but not to worry about buying anything. As soon as they said that I thought of the perfect dress that someone had given Amareah almost two years ago. She put it on the day of the program and I found a scarf I already had to wrap around her head similar to the way I'd seen Angelou on occasion.

Amareah was excited and confident as she prepared for her day.

When I saw her come into the area where the program was held I could see she was nervous and was much more subdued then when I saw her earlier. She kept her cheeks sucked in (the first sign of her nervousness), but behaved like the perfect little lady. At first I couldn't get a good picture because she was inconspicuously hiding in the second row. Once the teachers saw her there they moved her to the front because she was one of the ones with a part.

I had been taking pictures and filming the entire time waiting for Amareah to say her part. Before I knew it they gestured her to the front, she walked up quickly and I tried to get the camera up and ready, but she said her part in less than five seconds - quietly and barely raising her hand above her head. She turned to leave before I could get a picture and this is all I saw...

...Amareah walking away.
I was very proud of her nonetheless.
I shouldn't complain about the pictures I didn't get of Amareah because it's way better than what I got of my son. He stayed behind the other children almost the entire time. No matter how much I tried to get his attention or make him look to take a picture he just held his bashful, embarrassed smile and pretended not to see me. I was able to catch him on video thanks to his assistant teacher who moved him from behind another child so I could see him.

This is the picture I caught when he briefly turned his head.

And he totally pretended like he didn't know me when they lined up to leave the room. I thought it was extremely funny and I felt very proud.

I was so happy I was able to attend the program and see my children in action. I know I have about a million more programs to attend before my younger children graduate high school, but right now I am enjoying every moment.
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