Rhema's Reflections

Demyth-ifying the Road from Brown v. Board - Myth 2

Demyth-ifying the Road from Brown v. Board - Myth 2

Coming into the present, the calculated, piecemeal, chipping away at the mandate for school integration is still, sadly, very much alive and present. But as our country now lives with the identity of a ‘post-civil rights era’ society (and all of the ways that this both true and false), the racist policies are cloaked in the morality of the day, and often put under the guise of individual freedom. 

Today, the exercising and prioritization of “individual choice” continues to drive segregation in at least two powerful ways: moving and opting out altogether.

Demyth-ifying the Road from Brown v. Board - Myth 1

Demyth-ifying the Road from Brown v. Board - Myth 1

With the recent passing of the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board, I’ve been thinking specifically about the top 2 myths that I encounter a lot concerning segregation and integration. They find their beginning in the mistaken belief that Brown v. Board ended segregation entirely and cleared the way for a “evened out” education system for all students. That idea then gives way to thinking that because a “level playing field” exists for all kids, there’s no harm in white parents making sure that their children get the very best education that their resources can reach.

At the Intersection: Erasing and Minimizing Women of Color

At the Intersection: Erasing and Minimizing Women of Color

Our history is positively brimming with amazing women who gave their talents to help industries and our society as a whole progress and be more inclusive. Some, we are very familiar with - Harriet Tubman or Susan B. Anthony - and have learned snapshots of their contributions through school or popular culture. Many others, especially Women of Color, are all too often left out of the history books or the mainstream narrative. And that leaves us all the poorer, because we miss out on giving our kids real-life examples of women in different fields, and flourishing in those roles.

Going Beyond Indigenous People’s Day and Thanksgiving

Going Beyond Indigenous People’s Day and Thanksgiving

October and November bring us the holidays of Columbus Day and Thanksgiving. Two moments on the calendar that require us to reckon with the way Native people have been treated historically and how we retell that history in the present day. Often times parents find these holidays as their first opportunities to reflect on how to address Native American history and learn more about tribes today. This time of year offers the chance to highlight a counter narrative that Native people are not static - confined to a time in place in history - but dynamic, and very much present and facing oppression today.

Yet confining them to October/November goes to further perpetuate Native people only being present in a specific time - instead of seeing them all around us, all of the time. (And here I am doing just that. I recognize the hypocrisy here, and also firmly believe that today is a great day to start a new pattern of noticing Native voices. #joinme!)

Because we do see Native People everywhere - we just haven’t been taught to recognize their presence. Many states and cities in the United States get their names from the tribes that used to inhabit that land, even Missouri (from the Missouria tribe, present day Ote-Missouria tribe) and Illinois (from the Illini tribe, present day Peoria tribe)! There is so much history that we can be learning about year-round.