The 8 Black Hands are a group of Black men who talk about Black education. They also talk about how we just can’t stand by while Black kids are doing bad in school. My brother and I were there at their On Code Tour kickoff episode. They explained how their parents raised them to be smart and amazing people. It was an interesting show. My favorite thing they said was “Kids need to be comfortable to learn.” Below, I explained key points they shared starting with my favorite takeaway.
Kids need to be comfortable to learn
Parents have to help their kids be comfortable with learning. They have to show that learning is important and this helps kids be comfortable in a learning space like school. Mr. Ankrum said that parents need to know how to give a running record so they don’t have to wait for the teacher to do it. If a child is in a bad school, they probably don’t like it. They probably are not comfortable, and then they’re not gaining knowledge. That’s why a parent should be able to teach their kid something when the school is failing to teach them. One example of an educational experience a parent can give a child is showing them how to write an essay or helping them read tougher books. Another thing a parent could do is use educational websites to help them learn. Dr. Cole said if parents have technology to watch the 8 Black Hands show, then they have technology to help their kids learn something.
Black kids need a voice
Black kids should have a voice about their education. They should be able to communicate to their teachers, their parents, or their grandparents and have something really changed based on what they said. They should be able to tell them what they dislike about school and what they need changed to help them learn better. Another point the 8 Black Hands made is that teachers should be speaking up for Black kids. If they notice a kid really struggling and their parents are doing nothing to help them, then a teacher should reach out and help the parents help their child with what he or she is struggling with.
Black kids who are struggling in school shouldn’t always depend on school
My previous paragraph also proves that kids shouldn’t depend only on school to teach them. Everything that kids need to learn isn’t taught in school. The 8 Black Hands also said that some parents aren’t actually ready to parent. Still, that isn’t an excuse for their kids not learning. They should reach out to the community. Mr. El-Mekki said that someone in the community should be able to help. For example, if a kid’s school wasn’t really teaching math and the kid’s parents can’t teach it either, there is someone in the community that knows strategies to help the child.
This is how I interpreted what the 8 Black Hands said. Also, what do you think about the education you had? Do you think it was great, good, or just okay? I think mine is great because I have two really smart parents and a good school with nice teachers. Also, I’m a quick learner. I think education can be better for kids if we all work together.
Read On Code & On Point: 8 Black Hands Provides Parent Guide if you want to read my mom’s thoughts about the event, or read 8 Black Hands & Black Education to find out what my brother said.
James J. Barnes will enter 6th grade during the upcoming school year. He loves to draw and draws almost every day. He has a twin brother named Jeremiah. In his spare time, he likes to read comic books and watch cartoons.