Liberated Minds Expo
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the Liberated Minds Black Homeschool and Education Expo in Atlanta.While I’ve been to conferences before, I’ve never been to one like this. I was surrounded by beautiful Black and Afrikan people, young and the elders, and we were doing things for ourselves, by ourselves.
This was my first trip to Atlanta, but I knew that the area had a strong, established network of Black homeschoolers, so I was ready to learn from anyone I came in contact with. At the Expo workshop, presenters and attendees dialogued about tangible ways we can teach and learn with our children and scholars, regardless of whether that teaching happens in schools or at home. Dr. Alecia Blackwood shared her work on Ubuntu Pedagogy, providing teaching strategies to use when integrating Afrikan values and culture in our learning with young people. The founder of the Kamali Academy, Dr. Samori Camara, shared how we can cultivate Warrior Scholars by knowing, understanding, and trusting young people in their learning process.
I learned just as much outside of the workshops when casually talking with other families about their experiences. While I expected to strike up conversations and learn from folks who had been homeschooling for years, I met many families that, like me, were beginning the homeschooling journey this upcoming fall. This started to make sense to me given the fact that Black families choosing to homeschool has been on the rise. I felt comfort in knowing that I was surrounded by other Black families who may not exactly know how homeschooling would look but knew why they were doing it (read The Radical Self-Reliance of Black Homeschooling).
Regardless of whether we are caregivers with young ones in the school systems, educators in the system, or current or future homeschoolers, protecting and nurturing young Black people’s identity and mind and placing them at the center of learning is necessary work we all must continue.