It’s your fault I’m so militant !
First off, as a mother I don’t want to hear my child telling me anything is my fault. It somehow unravels the natural fibers of my mother ego.
Secondly, I did not teach my daughter to be militant. I taught her…. things.. Black history.
But never the behavior of militancy.
There is a storty here.
My anaylitical mind is perculating, and I need answers.
I think I know how it happened.
When I was a kid, I loved reading, learning and discovering new things. I especially loved history. I devoured anything black history. I wanted to know all that I could. I wanted to know about my people, and I was proud. Althought indirectly, my mother fed me history, but it was mainly through music. Everything we listened to was about having pride, getting up, never giving up, and keeping on. I’m a product of the 70’s.
I was a smart kid. I loved school and english was my favorite subject. Any time reading and writing was involved, I was all in. Well as much as I loved school, I did a lot of stupid things. Manly dropping out of school so I could rip and run the streets. When I wasn’t in school, my obsession with the dictionary grew to new heights. I studied it daily. Wrote words and definitions over and over and quizzed myself. Even though I dropped out, I went back for my GED. A fact that brought me much shame through the years and one of the things I’ll always regret. I vowed, when I became a mother my children would be educated and would take that education as far as it could go.
The time had come. I had my first child at twenty years old. I was a young mother, and I had so much to prove to myself, and everyone else. I taught my daughter everything I knew. We spent all of our time at libraries and museum’s. Around the age of three, I started teaching her about African American history. I showed her movies. I had her watch cartoons based on the lives of Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Harriet Tubman, and so on. And as she got older, I started taking her to historical places based on slavery and freedom. I thought I was doing the right thing. I knew I was doing right by teaching her to take pride in herself and teaching her the culture, her culture. But somehow, it went south. She went to predominantly mixed raced schools, and I have to admit, early on, the child was very militant, even at a young age. I may be over using the word militant here, but for the sake of this post, I’ll keep it. I mean, she is not walking around in war gear and standing on front lines against anything. Although she did lay in the street for Mike Brown, but I’ll save that for another day. Let me be clear, she is not racist. But yes, black power ish to the 10th power the girl is. Like the long lost daughter of a black panther. Yes, a bit prejudice, I mean we all have some level of prejudice in us, and it’s not always directed at the other race. Prejudice can come in various forms.
I am not sugar coating anything.
I genuinely want to know, have I failed my child?
She is a grown woman now and perfectly able to make her own decisions, but she did not miss the opportunity to let me know that I had ruined her. I taught her history, and she wore it like the scarlet letter. We speak freely about it. We even laugh at about it now. The way I drilled these historical events in her life. The way she cried when I took her on the makeshift slave ship at the Blacks and Wax museum. But when she told me it was my fault that she was so militant, I searched my brain trying to figure out where I went wrong. My other kids are different, and I taught them different. But this oldest girl, she got it bad. I have one more shot with my eight year old. Just like her sister, she is eager to learn, and taking pride in herself. I must make sure this doesn’t turn wrong. I have to make sure I don’t raise another militant child.
Side note: my daughter is totally harmless. She isn’t outwardly displaying any bad overly rude behavior. She is quiet. An observer. She was also taught to love everyone equally and with a clean slate. And she does that, but she has her views of which I do respect.
How do you teach your children of a difficult history without shaping their minds into something… militant?
I’m no expert. I’m just trying to do right by mines with the information I’ve been given. I won’t water it down. And I won’t teach hate. It’s all about the truth with me. Always, truth reigns.
Peace and love,