It's Just For Fun Friday! On JFFF, we review items and activities that you can do with your kids in order to increase their cultural competence and diversity awareness.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I have been absolutely glued to the TV over the past week. It's the Olympics and it has taken over! I have always loved the Olympics and the summer games are my favorite (sorry winter - I love you too!). And these 2016 games seem to be more historic than others. For reasons phenomenal (Simone Biles & the Final Five!) and not so great (I'm looking at you Ryan Lotche).
One historic event that especially tugged at my heartstrings was the win by the other Simone - the fabulous Simone Manuel. Her win as the first African-American to earn an individual gold in swimming is more symbolic and significant than many people think. It immediately made me think of another book given to us by my mom (seriously, would we even have a children's book collection without her?!?!) called Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles & Jerome Lagarrigue. It's about two boys growing up in the Jim Crow south and the fact that they can't swim together in the public pool. It is a fantastic book and a fantastic way to explain the significance of her win. It is not just about an American person of color winning gold - it goes deeper than that. And truly understanding the context helps us to appreciate just how special this strong, beautiful, poised young lady is.
So check out the video and then print out the page below for a quick list of potential questions and comments you can ask your kids as you're reading the book together. There's also a link to buy it - which I highly recommend.
Do you know any Black people that cannot/do not swim? If you are Black - is there anyone in your family who does not swim? What did this win mean to you? Were you aware of the context? Leave a comment below.
Most of all, enjoy. And don't forget to HAVE FUN!
Check back next week for another Just For Fun Friday!
9/30/2016 07:17:21 pm
Freedom Summer is one of my all time favorite books. It explains and illustrates to very young children the struggles of the implementation of the Civil Rights Act (not so long ago for some of us) and provides one glaring example of the ramifications for blacks. Not having access to swimming pools and learning to swim is a serious health and safety hazard. Thank you for highlighting it in the context of Simone Manuel's historic achievement.
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This is the place to go to develop your child's cultural competence while still having fun! If you know that your child needs this essential 21st century skill, but find it so overwhelming, you are in the right place. Using everyday items and activities, you can increase the diversity awareness in your home. It's Just For Fun!
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