This week the country celebrated Christopher Columbus holiday.  I live in New York which meant there was the annual parade that marched up 5th avenue.  People waved their flags, bands played and the music flowed. Schools were not in session, government offices were closed and subways were a lot less crowded.  And, while I can appreciate not having someone bum rush my personal space during my morning commute, each year I find it hard to fathom why we continue to celebrate this holiday.  What was equally disturbing is that Christopher Columbus “discovering” America is still be taught in schools.  So, how does a parent like me do her part to combat this?  This year I opted to look for stories about Black explorers.  I had alway heard of Mathew Henson and shared the story with my kid but this time around I learned about other explorers such as Pedro Alonso Nino and Juan Garrido both of who were explorers in the 1400’s and1500’s.  I’ve included a link to sites should if you want to learn more.

I could go on a rant about this, but I rather provide my son with examples of Black explorers to offset what he is learning in school. Which is why I wanted to find other explorers.  While I am not sure if this is the right approach at least he is being exposed to explorers who look like him.   Does he get it what I am trying to do?  Probably not. Will he appreciate it, perhaps later when he is able to understand. We will see.  In the meantime, I will continue searching and exposing him to literature which I know he won’t get in school.
Should you want to use this as a learning opportunity feel free to check out the link below.

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