Updated: Aug 15, 2018
If you have followed me for any length of time, then you know that I am all about the empowerment of our young girls and ladies. You will find hashtags like #blackgirlmagic and #girlpower throughout my posts and blogs. Although my author blog is just a few months old, the evidence can be seen on my other blog, Her Own Beat. I specifically focus on girls of color because we are seemingly invisible in the news and media. Yet, that doesn’t mean that I don’t share the love of #blackboyjoy.
My views on how a boy should act have evolved since I graduated from college. I was a teacher for two years, and I regret to say that I was training my boys to be unfeeling men. I was working in an environment where the misogynism was rampant. I told my little boys what they should play with, how they should act, and worst of all, I told them that they should not cry. I was so blessed to have the teacher next door to me call me out about what I was doing, but it still didn’t fully click in my second year of teaching. I wish I could go back and do that over again because while I know I may have raised their intellectual intelligence, I did nothing to help their emotional intelligence.
I pray that I haven’t done irrecoverable damage to those young boys, or even the girls, where my words may have become ingrained. I just wanted to build a generation of strong, intelligent, confident girls of color. So much so that, at times, I may have inadvertently forgotten about my boys. No, I didn’t teach them any less, but I didn’t focus on their empowerment and confidence as much as I could have. I felt like they would always have an advantage in the world.
It’s interesting, though. I didn’t start empowering boys until I was able to start fulfilling my own passion—teaching kids about video production. I realized that I loved my job so much, and I wanted everybody to have the same joy for it that I did. I was making sure that everybody felt confident and empowered from the moment they walked into the door until they left in the afternoon.
When you are working with children, you must make sure it is your passion so that you can give kids the best of you. Empowering and uplifting girls is a passion. Community advocacy and social justice are passions. Writing, however, is my number one passion. And, for that reason, I know that I won’t make the same mistake again. I won’t forget about the boys.