Yesterday, Wendi C. Thomas posted an article on Memphis's Commercial Appeal website that is decidedly against homeschool kids being able to participate in public school athletics. Let me first say that I do not uphold Thomas's views on homeschoolers in general. However, I do agree that homeschool students should not participate in public school sports. Let the backlash from my fellow homeschoolers commence. That's right, if you didn't already know, I'm currently a homeschooling parent of three years.
The pro argument seems to rest solely on some mythical taxpayers' rights. Paying taxes does not grant any inherent rights and, furthermore, they do not solely fund education. Those bating that they should be compensated for not using public resources like schools, might want to do some research on just how much of their tax dollars do go to education.
Those in opposition seem to share some of my own sentiments. For example, there are some serious ethical issues when it comes to reporting grades and conduct of athletes. Can it be trusted that every homeschool family would be forthcoming in reporting their child's grades/ GPA which make them eligible to play sports in public schools? Would conduct issues that seem minor as they are typically only exposed to loved ones and in contained environments be disclosed or left to be disruptive in PS sports program?
There's the looming notion of athletics being valued over academics. Period.
Then there's just the fact that this is ridiculous. To think we won't send our kids to a public school but will use their athletic program is incomprehensible. As I explained to my husband while in a heated debate about this, schools are microcosms of society. Students are contributing citizens in more than just what sport they might play if they play at all. It's unfair to those who invest any time or effort into that society for an outsider to come in and use resources without contributing or even caring about that society. It really comes off as trying to have your cake and eat it too.
If you want your kid to play ball or whatever for a public school, they should attend that school. If you're going to homeschool, commit to it on every level including the sucky athletics. I've opted out of the public school system(s) in Memphis...ALL the way out.
*drops mic and walks away*
I was so pleased that Oprah's finale was a sober, intimate occasion. It was the show coming full circle with her imparting some wisdom and wrapping up the last 25 years in a neat little bow. The way she recanted some memorable moments with scenes interspersed was perfect. In her own words, it was "a love letter" to us, her audience. In true Oprah form, she shared wisdom on being one's best self. She told us that "[we] will receive in direct proportion however you give." Oprah also reminded us that "everybody has a calling...[and] not everybody gets paid for it, but everyone has a calling."
I am one of those people who can I say I really did "grow up" with Oprah. Her show first aired when I was a mere 8 years old. I didn't become an Oprah viewer, however, until my thirteenth year as I spent the summer caring for my mother after a major health crisis. I always thought it was fitting that Oprah was a central part of my transition into young womanhood. My mother and I bonded over the many food baskets filled with cheeses and summer sausage and who, or what, was going to be on Oprah every day the summer of 1991. And, while, my viewership was inconsistent over the next 20 years, what that woman had to share with the world always had a place in my life.
Even though many have not agreed with her evolving point of view on many things, I can't imagine a single person who cannot at least respect a woman who has exuded so much humanity. She knows, as she's discussed numerous times, the detriment of low self-esteem and a lack of validation. I know their sting as well and I think that is the crux of her service to others. As she so poignantly stated, "worthiness is [our] birthright."
Oprah, I speak your name.
Are you a mom of color who breastfeeds, homeschools/unschools, natural births, or live in any way a holistic, natural lifestyle? Join us on The Mahogany Way.
my mothering is natural
as a swaddling, he suckled from my breasts.
my mothering is gentle
i do not use the master's tools for i am emancipated from the old school.
my mothering is nurturing
his mind to be book smart, street smart, woman smart
i teach him that black is the color of the cosmos and women birth the stars.
my mothering is imperfect
he loves me still.
my mothering is truth
i speak it. nothing is taboo.
my mothering is...
First let me note that my horoscope the day my trip to Atlanta began warned me that things would not go as planned and I needed to go ahead and accept that...
A local hair stylist organized a bus trip to attend the World Natural Hair Show in Atlanta and I initially had no intentions to go. At the last minute, I was swayed. I won't go into the details of how the trip went down but I will have to re-think joining such a caravan in the future. Having said that, on to the hair show. I actually only attended the first day of the event and even then I only did a walk through of all the vendors. Well, I missed some great t-shirt vendors as it was so congested and overwhelming. More importantly, I was not pleased with some of the other vendors I did encounter.
There was a disproportionate amount of attention given to dreadlocks as there were products, hair accessories, and styling demos abundant. Meanwhile, there was little available in the way of styling and general maintenance education on "loose" natural hair. This was odd as there were far more attendees without dreads than with. It's very telling on where the styling and hair care industries are in their perception and approach to natural hair. It seems that the trajectory consistently finds its way back to straightening the hair and excessive product use and the only hair considered truly natural is that which is dreadlocked. One attendee and traveling companion witnessed a booth where loose natural hair was being flat ironed. Most of us bemoaned the presence of Asian beauty suppliers hawking products and tools with little to do with natural hair. There were even vendors pushing long, silky hair weaves. Even still, there were numerous product lines like Uncle Funky's Daughter and Miss Jessie's to give the product junkies a major fix. Some of the reps for these product lines were purported to be lacking customer service or just plain rude. But again, what concerns me most is all of the vendors who were not there with good intentions. This can be also be attributed to the organizers being part of the capitalist machine. It was for all intents and purposes a commodities fest. One of which I did patronize. I got an "I (heart) being black" tee from the company of the same name and two hair accessories from my already favorite, Tomoka's Twists who's owner/ creator is just as sweet in person as online.
I even got a chance to chat in the hotel lounge with a gentleman who was involved in the creation of this event and,well, pending the manifestation of some exciting plans he has, I'll be sharing a bit of that conversation at a later time. I know that seems quite cryptic, but trust me on this one.
I and several others have come to the conclusion that many of the natural hair stylists simply lack real training on caring for natural hair. Many of them still use the same products, tools, and methods meant for maintaining straight hair. They aren't necessarily to blame as they've been trained and continue to be by those who learned in hair schools or the like to work predominantly with straight hair and chemical treatments. This just isn't what we're looking for and it just won't work so, many of us choose to forego stylists. This is evident from the high usage of Youtube by those making the tutorials and those watching. This natural hair show reflects that same discrepancy in education because at its helm is a professed natural hair stylist.
A journey that began for me fifteen years ago and seems to be culminating in a massive movement deserves an event with the purest of intentions. Until that comes, I have no problem operating grassroots--as I have all these years--educating, supporting, and loving natural hair one head at a time.
"Every valuable human being must be a radical and a rebel, for what he must aim at is to make things better than they are."