Black Joy

Emily Miller, Head of Lower School
Tuesday marked the beginning of Black History Month. While special recognition is reserved for the month of February, it is important that Black history becomes an integral and integrated part of our teaching and curricula, and not only a stand-alone topic. This year we are focusing on the theme of Black Joy and bringing thoughtful awareness to stories that shine a light on the ordinary and extraordinary joys of being Black. Our hope is to share experiences of “Black children being ordinary children—being themselves, being curious, being bold, being beautiful, being creative, being loving, or being playful” and not focus solely on the (his)stories that students always hear, especially those of struggle and oppression. While both experiences are important, they must be held in balance, and this month we focus on those that are joyful, uplifting, and everyday.
Jessica Christian, our Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, has been working with the teachers and sharing information about this year’s theme, including Don't Teach Black History without Joy and The Importance of Black Joy in Children’s Books. With Lower School-aged students, children’s literature is a wonderful entry point, and Ms. Golas has curated an excellent selection of resources for parents and teachers on the topic of Black Joy and Black History Month. 
In keeping with this year’s theme, the Lower School was excited to welcome children’s book author Kaiji Langley to Friday’s Share. Many thanks to Ms. Golas for arranging this visit. Kaija’s star-reviewed picture book When Langston Dances has become a favorite among students, as Mrs. Robinson has been reading it during her visits in Lower School classrooms. Kirkus describes When Langston Dances, “This is a tenderly told story about self-acceptance. The love and support that Langston receives from his mother serve to buoy his confidence, but it is his awareness of his passion that sustains him and pushes him to do what makes him happy: a lesson for every child…The absolute embodiment of Black boy joy, this is a beautiful and important book.”

We also look forward to welcoming the dance troupe Trend N’ Motion to a Share Assembly. Known for their expressive movement and performances at Boston’s First Night, the Museum of Fine Arts, and local universities, Trend N’ Motion will share their dynamic and interactive performance of the Animal Kingdom with the Lower School.
As an inclusive private school community, Brimmer welcomes students who will increase the diversity of our school. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, or any other characteristic protected from discrimination under state or federal law, in the administration of our educational policies, admissions practices, financial aid decisions, and athletic and other school-administered programs. 
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Chestnut Hill, MA 02467