Over the weekend, people from all walks of life witnessed the reign of Black Panther. Though the movie provided the thrills that we’d expect from any superhero movie, Marvel’s newest blockbuster brought empathy to the forefront and unified audiences like never before. After absorbing Wakanda’s regal wonder for a second time, I was filled with a sudden anxiety for others who watched the film. I hoped that the messages in the movie wouldn’t be too much for some to handle. I prayed the true origins of the black community would be admired and blaze a trail for all ethnicities to be represented in ways that dispel the stereotypes we’re known by. Why? Because accurate representation matters.
Unfortunately, there’s a stigma that comes along with people of various races feeling proud of their heritage. If one group gets more attention than the other, we tend to remind the world that there’s other colors in the crayon box as if we’ll be forgotten, when the truth is, it’s not up to society to co-sign our worth. It’s up to us. Regardless of color, we make the choice to discover our backgrounds and bask in our ancestor's glory, granting permission for future generations to do the same. It's possible for us all to shine.
In my classroom, we make it a priority to celebrate all cultures in different ways. For example, if we’re celebrating Hanukkah, a Jewish child might bring in a menorah to share or if a child celebrates Chinese New Year, they might have a ceremonial song they want to sing. Highlighting someone’s background doesn’t dismiss everyone else’s, it gives us a opportunity to embrace the things that make us more alike than different.
Going forward, never forget that it’s okay to love the skin you're in. No matter where you come from, you’re worthy of respect. If you see something that’s missing in the representation your culture, or for mankind in general, create it. KAE Collection was created not only promote the message of kindness but to be an inspiration to those around, daring them to believe in themselves so much that they create something GREAT.
There’s multiple ways to bridge gaps with others, but if you don’t know where to start, let kindness take the lead. Not as a form of tolerance, but as a form of respect and integrity.
Happy Friday! Moments matter.