Deconstructing Blackness

Sacred Heart Greenwich Middle School Faculty Blog

Edutopia

By Nicol Howard

MARCH 25, 2015

Recess was over, and my students rushed back to class in hopes of being the first to tell me what happened over their break. As we entered the room, I heard their rumblings and murmurs with the word “black” dispersed throughout. As an African American woman, I was more than curious to know what all the excitement was about. All I was ever taught growing up was that “black is beautiful.” And while that was my truth, I was about to be introduced to what being called “black” meant to my Latino/Latina students. They took me on a history lesson that I had not learned from my elementary textbook about the differences between white and black Latinos/Latinas.

Fifteen minutes passed and the board was covered with a circle map of every word that came to mind when my students heard the word “black.”…

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