6.07.2007

Is there a problem?

Racism is often treated as a "black subject", but we know it's everybody's issue. Being white shouldn't make a person exempt from having to consider race and racism in their everyday lives. Any a parent who want to raise well-adjusted children should probably be thinking about these kind of things. I was reminded of this as I was going through some of J-Jo's papers from nursery school. So much of it brought back certain memories, like:

...the day I brought J-Jo to school a few minutes late and Headteacher beckoned (only) to J-Jo and chimed: "Hurry up, we're taking about Africa!" (emphasis on the word "Africa!")

...or the day that we told Headteacher we were keeping J-Jo out of school one afternoon to take her to see a replica of the Amistad, which was temporarily docked at a harbor nearby.

Mrs. Headteacher: "Do you feel she's ready for the subject of slavery?"

Mrs. J: "She's known about slavery since she was two." In a general sense, but it's true.

Mrs. Headteacher: "Let us know if there's anything we can do here to help her with that."

Mrs. J: Uh, thanks.

What I wanted to say: "You all pretend like the holidays aren't even happening because you're afraid of offending people. Do you really think I expect you to teach my child about slavery? Do ya really think I'd TRUST you to?"

Oh well. It's over now. J-Jo graduated two weeks ago (in the form of a picnic, no cap and gowns up here). Next year, she'll be at a progressive charter school in Houston that's a lot more diverse. I know J-Jo will miss the friends she's made here, though. I will too. They're all sweet kids who I've watched grow from babies to toddlers to sassy-mouthed little kids right along with my own (not too thrilled about that sassy part). And I know she'll miss the little white schoolhouse and its intimate little yard. But I gotta admit, I'm still reeling from this upstate nursery school experience. While it was great in certain ways — the healthy snacks, organic "birthday muffins" instead of cupcakes, the fact that their learning was play-based — I can't say I'll actually miss it.

8 comments:

BlackLiterature said...

Houston where? Texas? Good Luck?

Mrs. J said...

Yes! Thank you. :)

Ginny said...

Big Move! I did almost the same move back in 1993: Upstate NY to Austin, Texas. You will miss the birds and trees! Enjoy them while you can and enjoy your new adventure in Texas.

Mrs. J said...

Ginny- I will really miss the birds and trees...I was just thinking that yesterday when I was out in the yard with the kids. Houston is pretty treeless. I heard Austin is greener, but not as diverse. What about those who want the best of both worlds?? lol
Thanks for the good wishes. :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Let's see a place with lots of trees that is diverse...Montclair NJ.

Good luck in Houston. It's a great city for the arts.

Ginny said...

Trees, birds and diversity ... Durham, NC. I till miss NY but this is a nice home away from home.

Jessica said...

There are tons of trees and wildlife in central Houston, inside Loop 610. COme to my neighborhood and you will see. Anyway, question: how DO youtalk about slavery with a 2 year old. I would like to know....

la dra said...

LOL- organic bday muffins! Good luck on the move!