Hello lovely people,
It’s June 1st and the end is near. I know everyone reading this who is a teacher in a K-12 classroom can barely contain their excitement at the end of the school year being around the corner.
We’re feeling it here at CREAD also, a lot of our programming is slowing down and we’ve been thinking a lot about the productive struggle which has been this year and specifically this last month.
For the month of May we intended to focus on the African Diaspora outside of America and an American context.
And speaking for myself, that ish was hard. I consider myself VERY BLACK and thought this would be so easy. Instead I realized that I am indeed very black and that is very different from being very Diasporic.
My entire way of looking at the world is mediated by being an “Caribbean American” woman all I know is western colonial ideas and oppression and though I’m decolonizing my mind, to teach, blog, and spread ideas about the diaspora removed from the western mindset proved hard. It also proved to be a productive struggle.
Often when we hear the term, productive struggle, we’re talking about our expectations and rigorous instruction. “Students can experience productive struggle when given a task slightly beyond their abilities” and we as “educators (are to) provide support for tackling a challenging problem through different approaches, they can help build critical thinking skills and develop grit.”
In this case, my team was my support and helped me to look at this challenge through the use of different approaches because half way through May I wanted to give up. Challenged by my own ability to talk with authority about Mama Africa and her children made me feel insecure and an impostor.
I learned a lot about myself and the ways I really want to embody being a diasporic global citizen and we have made plans to develop all of our skills in the 2017-2018 school year.
Lol, I know yall don’t want to hear NOTHING about September. But, just know we will all be productively struggling next year to be able to identify with the diaspora from a decolonized perspective.
Now with that being said, I am welcoming in the month of June because this is officially tun up season as it is National Caribbean American Heritage Month. June 2006, was the first official Caribbean Heritage Month issued by then President George Bush. But you know…
…who really gets the love and glory for actually repping Caribbean American Heritage month hard.
Now when you break down the ancestry of the CREAD team we rep Antigua, Haiti, Jamaica and Guyana…don’t mind that Guyana is literally apart of South America, it is considered a part of the Caribbean, for what reason….maybe we will find out this month.
And how could there be a better way to celebrate the end of the school year than with the original party rocking, feteing, sak pase’ing group of people.
And as with everything Caribbean folk do, there will be a lot of celebrations and declarations and manifestations of Caribbean pride and culture. I mean if you’re from Brooklyn, then you know it really is Caribbean Heritage Month 12 months a year but you know, June is extra special….next to September.
I, myself, will be kicking off the month celebrating my homie, educator, mother, friend, author and official super feter Chantel Jackson as she is being honored.
NYC Public Advocate Letitia James invites you to celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month as we honor 8 Caribbean American leaders from 4 different boroughs whom represent six different Caribbean Islands and various fields of community engagement including but not limited to: healthcare, law enforcement, hospitality, education, culture, and union organizing.
So, relax and know that we here at CREAD will usher in the end of the school year on a very high note…and you know it won’t be all fun and games because you know a lot of our freedom fighter icons have Caribbean lineage. I’m just sayin’