I had scheduled to go back and do a winter wrap up but I was so intrigued by the kids responses to introducing Martin Luther King Jr.that I decided to explore this subject a little longer. Not only that, but talking to kids about things like this encourage me to be a better person.
Today in small groups we talked about how the people hurt the African Americans during Mr Kings time. Did they hit him ? They mainly hurt him with their words. We read a book called ” Words are not for Hurting” and talked about what it means to hurt someone with your words. We even practiced examples. And then, we talked about how sometimes something SLIPS out of our mouth before you know it and what you can do to make it better. ( Say Im sorry… )
That is exactly what I had to do when I turned on a you tube video to show another example of Martin Luther King. It was Charlie Brown… Charlie BROWN FOLKS. SOmeone had dubbed REALLY REALLY bad words over the cartoon. I SHOULD HAVE PREVIEWED THE CRAZY CLIP. Im sorry.. Today.. I failed…. Four little boys heard a really bad word and then almost heard me ( in my head) say another one as I quickly grabbed the lap top from in front of me and hit mute. Thankfully I was sitting right there. ugh……
We also matched skin tones. I had flesh colored paint and we dabbed a little on our skin and tried to get it to match by adding more light or dark tones to it. ( And for the girls.. I explained this is how we use make up! )
We also read another book today. Called ” Amazing Grace.” It was about a little girl that loved stories . She acted them out a lot and her school was going to put on the play Peter Pan. Someone first told her she couldn’t be Peter because she was a girl. Then… they said she couldn’t because she was black. Her grandmother took her to see a play called Romeo and Juliet and guess what race Juliet was…. African American. Long story short Grace auditioned for Peter and was excellent in the school play.
As with most book I start by asking the kids to look at the book and tell me what they think the book is about. Today I said.. ” Tell me what you see…”
Some replies were:
She has pigtails.
She has hair bows like me.
She has missing teeth.
She is outside, it is bright.
She is happy.”
Not one child said ” She is black.”