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New Video Exchange Reflections is Here

Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly.
Langston Hughes, From The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes

We at Exchange Press are offering something new: an Exchange Reflections that is focused on a video, as well as an article. We hope to develop a wide selection of both article and video Reflections.

This new Exchange Reflections Video Edition is called "Black Boy Joy: Centering BIPOC Children." It’s based on a wonderful video made by educators Mike Browne and Amir Asim Gilmore, and encourages discussion on how all educators can embrace and affirm BIPOC children. Mike says:

"At the end of the day we want to make sure they are visible, they are validated, and they are loved."

Here are a few discussion topics from the video and the Reflections:

Mike explains that during some moments when children are being joyful, he can feel annoyed because they are being loud—even though it’s a "joyful loud." He wonders, "How can I center not myself and my feelings, but instead, center the children’s happiness?"

Amir asks, "How often are we talking about joy for children, especially Black children? We’re getting them ready for the ‘real world.’ Preparing them. But we leave out that conversation about joy."

Mike and Amir also discuss what they call "the pedagogy of no," a culture we may unwittingly create for children in which they’re constantly being told, "Don’t do this, don’t do that…" Amir adds, "When you become an adult, you’ve been told your whole life not to do things." Instead, he believes, we need to tell children, especially Black children, "You can do it, and I’ll support you."

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