The picture above was taken by Hugh Silbaugh (Dean of Faculty at NMH) in one of my UPenn seminars. I gave birth during this program and for the first year, my son attended classes with me.
"You can't dash me human rights.
Human rights be my property."
Some of the rhetoric around multiculturalism and diverse education is still very colonial. Diverse narratives, culturally responsive pedagogy, and culturally relevant curricula are not items to be granted. They should be woven into the objectives and goals of lesson plans within units that create the curriculum that fill the courses in each department.
Because our education socializes us and informs our thinking, quality education that implements critical literacy is a human right. We must teach ourselves how to analyze and critic information that is presented to us. Information that dehamunizes and decrowns our brothers and sisters. Fela says "human rights are my property". Each student has a right to critically engage and question knowledge that is presented.
Once you recognize you might be great, you might be real, you might understand, you might be the one- of many- it's difficult to go back. Yet easy to forget. Your soul is intentional. Al-Wadud (the source of love) created me with love. Love is everything, especially an active stance. We carry love with us. That's how I feel about education and working with the youth.
I want to give love to all of my students, especially those who are overlooked because their presence sparks discomfort in others. I want them to know, I SEE YOU. I HEAR YOU. I VALUE YOU.
I serve so that my son can grow up in a world that has a little more consciousness, where people are a little more woke. I know that I will have to raise my black son in America, and valuing one's life is a human right.
When BlackLivesMatter in the curriculum, they will matter in the streets.
Expanding our notions of knowledge can liberate and uplift people with marginalized identities. I argue that critical literacy must also be used to challenge people of privilege and of the ‘dominant’ culture. We need to assert critical literacy in privileged spaces. It is an essential step for challenging injustice in society, developing empathy and proposing inclusive solutions.