Pre-Colonization​ Parenting

I wrote this September 13, 2019. I giggled at it considering the book, I just wrote on my educational thoughts.

I believe kids that identify as black, brown, and/or low-income deserve a nature and play-based education. Learning outside and protected from tests, constant comparisons, and enduring the wrath of over-stressed and overwhelmed adults. Children deserve the time to be free from the responsibilities of "adulthood." Funny enough, though, when I discuss my beliefs in education and childhood - folks, often think that they are Eurocentric. Mostly because folks see "liberated children" as comprised of those with societal and financial privilege and usually white. But in reality, my ideas of a "free" childhood stem from pre-colonized Africa and the study of different indigenous communities. Before colonization and the slave trade entered Africa - there isn't a record of corporal punishment in Africa, specifically West Africa. Meaning that it wasn't until black people were forced into being slaves (in the transatlantic slave trade and through colonization) that we began seeing and using the discipline tactics that folks refer to in their disagreement of my parenting stance.  

Pre-colonial African's would raise their children immersed in nature, story-telling, and illustrations. West Africans believed that children were extraordinary spiritual beings, and hitting them or forcing them into adulthood too early pushed them farther from their spiritual enlightenment. Some folks thought you could scare their souls away. Children's imaginations were preserved, and children got to be wanders, wonders, and full play and nature. 

"Outside children are constantly moving, they are active. Active children learn better and more," writes Ylva Ellneby, a veteran preschool teacher and author in Sweden, in one of her popular books about early childhood. "Children need to use their imagination and nature gives them the freedom and inspiration that is required to make it happen... the woods and fields offer many adventures and magical experiences."

- Linda Akeson McGurk



I have so much to say about this but want to stop here. More later. 

Shalom,

Shelby 

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