Not sure if you are familiar with the teachings of Willie Lynch, if not I encourage you to educate yourself. I will attach the link here...http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/Perspectives_1/Willie_Lynch_letter_The_Making_of_a_Slave.shtml
I was approached by one of my students today seeking advice on.....HER HAIR and SKIN TONE!!! Are you serious? Ok first off, the student is TWELVE YEARS OLD and already has issues with how long her hair is and how to make her skin "lighter and prettier!!!" I almost wanted to break down and cry right in front of her. She began to explain over the weekend how her "lighter skin" best friend began to tease her, calling her bald-headed and blackie!! BLACKIE?? are you serious? She was almost in tears because she wanted to know how to make her hair grow and why she was so dark skin.
I began to think to myself, Willie Lynch is alive and well. His teachings have been so engraved in us that some of us really believe his foolishness to be the truth. It is so disheartening to hear a 12 year old envious of her "lighter skin" friend or saddened by the fact that her hair only rests on her shoulders instead of reaching the middle of her back.
I wasn't sure what else to do so I grabbed a mirror and asked her to hold it, when asked what she liked about herself, she said nothing. When asked what she didn't like or wanted to change the list seemed endless. Not to mention everything she wanted to change was replaced with a feature from a lighter skinned friend of hers. I explained that she was "beautifully and wonderfully made." Got to be careful what we "preach" in a public school these days. I explained that she has to love herself before she can love others and that she should spend more time getting to know herself. Her likes and dislikes and set some goals for herself.
I'm not sure if I handled the situation correctly but I did the best I could. This has really messed me up mentally. I'm not sure if I'm more bothered by the fact that these issues still exist or because of how young she is. I look forward to reading your comments, please share any advice as well :) I need it!!
Plan on spending some time with myself this week/weekend. Falling back in love with me, rediscovering myself, my likes and dislikes and reevaluating my goals. I encourage all of you to do the same. I am beautiful, You are beautiful, WE are beautiful!!!