As this project leads to the completion of this course, I wanted to create an educational tool that would generate an everlasting impact on a population that has the plasticity to enforce change. I created an educational poster that places emphasis on self-beauty. This educational poster depicts common thoughts of colorism and the good hair vs. bad hair stigma. As discussed within this course, colorism begins to affect individuals at a young age, in correlation to the parental influence. The audience of my poster will be elementary school children. While establishing the foundations of this project, I considered the targeted audience thoroughly, to ensure the success of my poster. My poster will aim to evoke contentment of self, skin color and hair when it is viewed in the classrooms and hallways brimming with young children.
In addition to my educational poster, I have also created an informational script for teachers, including a list of books that are beneficial to the embracement of self for young children of color. The script included scenarios for discussion, educational facts and lesson plans/activities that place significance on a topic of priority. The purpose of the informational script is not solely to cultivate the children, but to acquaint our teachers as well. The educational curriculum discusses slavery as deeply as the textbook allows but, ironically, the textbooks do not place importance nor leave space for a discussion on colorism, its diverging or its effects. The purpose of my poster is to identify all shades and hair textures of young African American children. I want the children to be able to walk in the hallways and see someone that looks similar to themselves.
My educational poster greatly relates to this course, as we often discussed the good hair vs. bad hair stigma, colorism and its effects. During this course we watched a video of children label a doll good or bad based on their skin color. Furthermore, we watched children of different skin colors turn an ambiguous image into the idea of “the lighter skin child is in danger of the darker skin child” and lastly we watched adults talk about the effects of colorism in their adulthood and childhood. Through the discussion of this course, I have realized that colorism has an effect on African American children at a young age, as they have awareness of self and identify as the darker friend, when they play with students of other races.
The idea that a person is “better” because of the lightness of their skin and the texture of their hair, truly affects the body. It is not emotionally, mentally or physically healthy to believe a stigma that has no correlation. The character and quality of an individual is not associated with a specific shade of skin color nor hair texture, but by consistently having the same representation of lighter skin African American girls with coiled hair or the unidentified African American male, it sanctions the children of darker shades with kinky hair to be unidentified and erased, because these children are not seen. From self-awareness it is important to see and be able to relate to other individuals who are similar to you. As individuals we do this often, we want to be arounds others who share similar traits and interest. The body is gratified by being around others who share similarities, as it increases comfort. African American students of all shades and all hair textures should be able to experience this level of comfort within themselves, their classroom, with their peers and within their own community. My poster and informational script will influence educational advancement towards the stigma of lighter and darker skin, my poster will show the beauty and variation within all hair textures and lastly my poster will shape the a population that has power and capacity to become better, do better and change the world.
As educators it is important to have the awareness of diversity within your classroom. This includes a safe environment for ALL children, no matter their skin color, hair texture, socioeconomic status or religion. This guide is geared to the African American children within your classroom, this packet includes active classroom discussions on colorism and acceptance of ALL hair types. The information presented within this guide is children friendly, these activities are teacher instructed but children orientated. Below I have attached discussion question, art activities and books to have within the classroom that focuses on the different colors of children.
Activities for color awareness/self-love:
- The multicultural crayons.
- The children will then draw themselves – including their hair texture.
- Next, hang-up all of the different shades of drawings.
- Discussion:Now as a class discuss all the shades.
- Ask the children to name foods that are similar to their skin shade.
- To continue and lead into another activity, you can ask the students to bring in objects that are similar to their skin color.
This next activity educates children on the different shades while working with their sensory skills. The children will create flesh tone Playdough. Each shade will have assorted ingredients that correspond. After all of the children have completed their personalized flesh tone creation, as class, discuss the differences between each shade, then have the children say one thing that they like about another child’s shade of playdough.
Books to have within the classroom:
- The Skin You Live in By David Lee Csicsko & Michael Tyler
- The Colors of Me By Brynne Barnes
- I Love My Hair By Natasha Anastasia
- Can You Say Peace By Karen Katz
- We’re Different, We’re The Same By Bobbi Kates
Kemi Pollock is a senior at Old Dominion University. She majors in Speech Pathology, and she plans to continue her education with speech into her Masters. She currently holds many leadership positions on campus, as well as being a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Incorporated. She enjoys shopping, reading, and eating! She also enjoys self-love, which includes anything that will make her healthy and happy, including spending her time having good laughs with genuine people!