The Decolonization of the Caribbean: Q & A to Bring Into Your Classrooms About Today’s Struggle

To help our ourselves & youth we teach understand why Puerto Rico and the sister islands of the Caribbean have been so devastated by Hurricane Maria, we have to understand the history, politics, and systems in place that allowed for this to happen in the first place. Environmental disasters are going to happen because that’s nature, but there’s nothing “natural” to just how devastating their impacts can be on the people, animals, and communities they hit.  The following are some questions and answers that will hopefully provide educators & students with the historical facts surrounding the humanitarian crisis that is now looming in Puerto Rico, and other Caribbean islands, and is impacting many of our kids and their families as we speak. Continue reading “The Decolonization of the Caribbean: Q & A to Bring Into Your Classrooms About Today’s Struggle”

To My Black Son’s Future Teacher: See My Child

To My Black Son’s Future Teacher,

As the new school year approaches and I prepare to entrust my child once again to a teacher (whom I am uncertain has been trained in how to best support the intellectual and psychological growth of children of color), I begin to think about what I want for my child. I keep coming back to one outstanding desire: that you see my child. Continue reading “To My Black Son’s Future Teacher: See My Child”

Addressing Police Brutality With Youth: A Book Review on Momma, Did You Hear the News?

Ok, so where do I begin with the shortest, yet heaviest book I’ve ever read? Let’s begin with a brief synopsis.  Momma, Did You Hear the News is a children’s book about a ten year old boy, Avery, who has become frantic after hearing and watching stories on the news about the murders of unarmed Black men by police. Continue reading “Addressing Police Brutality With Youth: A Book Review on Momma, Did You Hear the News?”

Getting BLACK Into School: 20+ Melanated School Products & 6 Give Aways!

It’s August, ya’ll, which means many of you are getting ready to stock up your classrooms with new supplies or fill your kids’ closets with new school gear.  For those of us that are of the African Diaspora, finding everyday educational supplies and materials that reflect the outer and inner cultural beings of our melanted children can be a daunting and emotionally frustrating task. Trust me–I know first hand, which is why I created My Reflection Matters (MRM) in the first place.   Continue reading “Getting BLACK Into School: 20+ Melanated School Products & 6 Give Aways!”

A Seat at the Table: Board Gaming Is For Us Too

Why are our Black and Latinx youth so addicted to their screens? It’s not only the TV screens, but also their ipods, androids, iphones, ipads, you name it! They love playing games, but they limit themselves to video games creating more social isolation than we are used to. In an article published by “TheGrio,” the author reminds us, “Studies indicate Blacks, Hispanics and those in lower socioeconomic groups play, spend more time, and buy more video games than other groups. According to The Kaiser Family Foundation, African American youth between the ages of 8 and 18 play games 30 minutes more per day than White youth, while Hispanics play an average of 10 minutes more”. 

Continue reading “A Seat at the Table: Board Gaming Is For Us Too”

14 Books Celebrating Black & Brown Papas

Home made gifts are the best, but when you aren’t crafty of don’t have the time, books are right up there with them!  So, if you and the kiddies are still struggling what to get papa for father’s day, don’t worry–I got you covered! Peep these fourteen picture books celebrating fathers of color that are perfect for child and daddy to snuggle up to as they read them together!   (There’s nothing like watching my kids curl up on my husband’s lap to read a good book!)  Continue reading “14 Books Celebrating Black & Brown Papas”

What If All the Dolls on the Toy Shelf Were Black? 15 Doll Companies On a Mission to Dismantle the Status Quo

In the recent May issue of Oprah’s O Magazine, a fantastic feature titled, “Let’s Talk About Race” (Which happens to be the exact same title I came up with a decade ago for an educator’s workshop I developed, but I degress…) presented a series of images depicting role reversals of stereotypical scenes of females in America. Continue reading “What If All the Dolls on the Toy Shelf Were Black? 15 Doll Companies On a Mission to Dismantle the Status Quo”

Can Cultural Pageants Serve as Tools to Support Racial & Ethnic Identity Development or Do More Harm Than Good?

So, I’m not a big fan of pageants–beauty pageants in particular.  In fact, I was coerced by my theater teacher and some other folks to participate in one during my high school years for scholarship purposes, which I begrudgingly went along.  It was a local Miss town pageant that claimed, like many other beauty pageants, that it was more than a beauty pageant.  The truth is when the majority of your pageant’s segments focus on judging the outer appearances of contestants, in my book, it’s a beauty pageant.  And we all know what standard of beauty is being utilized to measure everyone up against in those spaces!

Continue reading “Can Cultural Pageants Serve as Tools to Support Racial & Ethnic Identity Development or Do More Harm Than Good?”