Slavery Yoga Was Taught to Kindergarteners in Delaware for Black History Month. No, Seriously.

Illustration for article titled Slavery Yoga Was Taught to Kindergarteners in Delaware for Black History Month. No, Seriously.
Photo: Iakov Filimonov (Shutterstock)

Just Saturday, I wrote in a report that “It’s about time we have a serious conversation about how a lot of white teachers have no business whatsoever teaching Black students.” I based this statement on three separate stories—all of which occurred during this Black History Month—involving white teachers being racist while downplaying and/or distorting narratives around American racism during lectures to their students.

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Well, now there’s a fourth story—one that doesn’t necessarily feature educators denying the cruelty of slavery; they just made a fun game out of it which parents are rightfully calling “culturally insensitive, offensive” and “disturbing,” Delaware Online reports.

From Delaware Online:

The prerecorded hybrid lesson was taught at the McIlvaine Early Childhood Center. A short clip shared by a parent on Facebook shows part of the 35-minute class, where a teacher combines yoga poses with her version of how Africans were enslaved and brought to America.

“African people came to America on boats to become slaves,” the teacher says in the video. “So here’s the great big country of Africa. They crossed the Atlantic to come over to America. So right now, I need you to get into your boat pose,” she says, demonstrating the yoga pose.

“Came? We were stolen,” the mother recording the video is heard saying.

The video goes on to describe the lives of enslaved people in America.

“Africans were treated very poorly, even though they farmed the land and plowed the fields to make America beautiful and help grow our food,” the teacher continues. “They worked in the fields all day. If you’re at home, you can try the plow pose.”

She then leads the kindergarten students through breathing exercises as they hold the yoga pose.

OK, I’m sorry but let’s back up a bit.

“So here’s the great big country of Africa.”

Bruh, it is 2021, and “educators” are allowing children to watch a FUCKING PRERECORDED VIDEO featuring some white woman voice hack-tress that referred to the FUCKING CONTINENT of Africa as a country.

Oh, and also they got kids out here doing slavery yoga poses and shit.

Here’s a question for educators of all races everywhere who might be exposing students of all races to unmitigated white nonsense: Why not just teach Black history during Black History Month?

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Why do so many of y’all keep trying it with these stupid-ass slavery activities instead of just utilizing the month to teach more Black history than you normally would? (Which for many schools likely means any Black history at all.)

You could take the opportunity to teach more than just slavery and the whitewashed versions of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. You can teach your students about the countless Black historical figures and events that are rarely-if-ever mentioned in American educational curricula.

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Slavery yoga—and anything else like it—is not only inappropriate and insensitive, it’s DUMB AF AND IT TEACHES NOTHING!

Folks, I don’t mean to raise my voice (yes the fuck, I do), but stop this shit and just teach thorough Black history, please, and at long fucking last.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

DISCUSSION

thedamesgotmoxie
LaRockyMay!

“So here’s the great big country of Africa.”

So here’s the big country of Africa; folks, let’s take moment to let that sink in. The country of Africa...ahh, the Master Race.

Hopefully because these kids are so young they may not remember this extreme low point..it’s doubtful, but I’m clinging to the hope that will be the case.

This person shouldn’t be teaching children be they Black, white, Asian, Latino or polka dot.*

*I know polka dot people don’t exist...or do they???