As caregivers raising pro-Black kids, we have a unique opportunity to create a space where our loved ones can thrive and reach their full potential.
When we center Black brilliance as the spotlight in our lives, we’re not just shaking things up from a fresh angle–we disrupt the status quo. We’re changing the narrative—one that revels in our unique talents, links our kids with Black culture, and firmly establishes that our truths and stories belong in powerful places.
Let’s take the daily ritual of reading to our children as an example. Instead of picking any old book like Cinderella or even Harry Potter off the shelf, select a book that centers on a Black and brilliant character. As you read, stop and ask questions like, “What Black brilliance can we celebrate here?” or “What did Black brilliance enable this character to do?”
After reading the story, you can connect with your kids with one simple question: What did you learn about Black brilliance that you can apply to a challenge or success you are facing right now?
You also talk to your child about speaking their truth and taking up space. You tell them that their voice matters and that they should never be afraid to share their ideas and perspectives. You can tell them about the Black people who brilliantly and creatively achieved what they set their minds to do and that they are more than capable of being added to that list.
When we open up and center conversations about Black brilliance, something amazing happens—our brilliance becomes the new normal! It’s a total game-changer and radical shift from what we have been used to for years, y’all! You see, we’ve been fed this narrative that Black is less than, which has made us feel less safe, secure, and sure of our dreams. But guess what? We’re flipping the script! We’re rewriting the story and owning the narrative where Black brilliance is the everyday norm, leading to a boldly brilliant new world for our kids.
Here are three intentional practices you can use to center Black brilliance with your kids:
- Celebrate their unique gifts and talents. We’re talking about their strengths, their passions, and what makes them so special. Try creating a “Brilliant Black Board” in your home to display pictures, affirmations, and other achievements of loved ones. We can also write their positive qualities and affirmations on sticky notes and post them around the house.
- Expose them to Black culture and history. Let’s read books by Black authors, listen to Black music, and watch Black films. Teach them about the rich and diverse contributions Black people make to the world. Take them to Black cultural events, like art exhibits, music festivals, and historical sites. Have conversations about the Black experience in all its glory, past and present.
- Help them to speak their truth and take up space. Let’s encourage kids to share their ideas, dreams, and perspectives. Model expressing confidence and being comfortable in our own skin. Listen to them with open minds and hearts, and offer your support and encouragement.
When we center Black brilliance in our lives, we send a powerful message to our kids: We see you, hear you, and value you. We help them build a strong foundation by creating a space where our loved ones can thrive and reach their full potential. When we center Black brilliance, we help build a better future for all of us.
Let’s all commit to centering and celebrating the brilliance of our loved ones and expose them to Black culture and history so they speak, hear, and see their truth.
I see you,