My daughter started school in Pickerington District 2 years in a predominately white neighborhood. This is what occurs unfortunately when your family income rises and you want to afford your child the ability to receive a good education. She began to get comments regarding her hair. She would come home with her hood tied tightly, with a depressing demeanor as if someone stole her entire spirit. Thick like her father's, but beautiful non the less, she felt embarrassed by her individuality.
What do I do as a mother, but more importantly as a social worker? I advocated on every brown child's behalf. I met with the school principle to ask if I would be able to develop a diversity workshop educating children on cultural diversity. Luckily, this school principle got it, she honored my request and allowed me to visit every classroom in the school on my own time. I now run this program annually, and have extended it to the community. Using art, literature, and open discussion as my platform. We discuss all things that makes us different. Kids do not understand color, but what they do learn are stereotypes and prejudices, prescribed from home and/or the media. What is amazing, is at a young age we can began to dispel these pre-conceptions with conversation. This is why I love early childhood. Children are sponges, ready to absorb and get rid of all unnecessary content.
Of course that is not enough. She continues to witness bully type of behavior. And the brave, most resilient daughter I have decides she wants to loc her hair. Not because she hates her hair, but because she "likes being different"...yes, Queen, i'll do the same. Now mommy and Kennedy are on a loc journey. Loving who we are, and not requiring permission. I won in life, she's absolutely perfect.
Both my baby girls.
Click the link for my older daughter explaining why she choose locs!