Today

Today, I taught the Brown Girls.  Today, I found myself ignoring the other students, focusing in my attention and my words, specifically, for their ears.  I didn’t mean for it to happen.  I was a little surprised when I realized it was happening.  There were, of course, lots of other students in the room, listening and, hopefully, learning.  But I wasn’t concerned with them.  I was completely and totally focused on the young women who typically don’t find themselves front and center in the texts that we study.  They are in  the texts, sometimes, but typically on the side or as a way to discuss “urban” issues.  But not today.  Today, our text showed their power.  It showed their intelligence.  It showed them all that they are and all that they can be.  They saw themselves and their history raised up and honored, revered for the totality of what it is, not what it is lacking and not in comparison or contrast to the Pink people (because no one is white except for Casper).  Their strength and power was not just displayed, but was celebrated. And I seized the opportunity to connect them to this text, to this power. Today, I taught the Brown girls, and I was humbled and grateful.

 

9 thoughts on “Today

  1. The surface of stories
    rubbed raw, clean slates
    no longer, the passages
    transform experience,
    giving voice to something
    beyond the worlds
    one knows, unless one
    knows the world already,
    and then the words
    sing a common song

    — Kevin, a poem inspired by your post this morning, left in appreciation

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great work, for thinking about and elevating all your different students. Sometimes we have to consciously do that for groups of students, and you did it through a text. “Today, our text showed their power. It showed their intelligence. It showed them all that they are and all that they can be,” these are strong and motivating words. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  3. WOW! Amy, thank you for being a great teacher (and colleague:). This post is SO powerful. “Today, our text showed their power. It showed their intelligence. It showed them all that they are and all that they can be. They saw themselves and their history raised up and honored,” – I LOVE these lines. Thank you for sharing. Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful words and a beautiful reminder that all people need to see themselves in books. And as you said, not on the side, but front and center. They are lucky to have you as their teacher!

    Liked by 1 person

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