I recently stumbled on a song called Black Made That on Instagram. I only heard a snippet of it so immediately started clicking around until I found the full song on YouTube. What I found was a rap song and video that, in such an incredible way, educated listeners about black inventors and their inventions that have changed the world. Griot B, also known as Brandon Brown, and the School Yard Rap movement instantly captivated my daughters and I. Like clockwork, I now hear, “Mommy, turn on Black Made That!” during our daily designated learning time.
After a few more clicks I discovered Griot B had created an entire album, Ourstory, dedicated to educating people of all ages, especially school-aged students, about black innovators, current racial events, history and an overall appreciation of black culture. This discovery has made my job as a homeschooling educator a little easier. Teaching history to five and six year olds can be challenging. At those ages, history can be deemed boring if not presented in a creative way for easy comprehension. My daughters constantly sing and dance, so this album was the answer to our not so exciting history lessons.
Brandon “Griot B” Brown is an educator in California and knows music is one of the best ways to get a message across to young people. With the album, Ourstory, he has done something that I have never seen before. He has taken rich history and culture of black people and has placed it in a format that translates to children and adults in a world that is heavily influenced by a Hip Hop culture. The album is 18 tracks of black history and culture, inspiration and affirmation. It’s more than just simple words thrown together and put over a dope beat. Unlike many of the mainstream music of today, Ourstory includes lyrics and flow are eye-opening and lack gimmicks. Our children needed this work of art yesterday.Griot B didn’t hesitate to share about topics that some would consider taboo. This album is so well-rounded! Check out just some of the topics on the album:ancient kings and warriorsThe Harlem RenaissanceHistorically Black Colleges and Universitiesappreciation of skin colorJuneteenthrevolutionary slavesThe Black Panther Movement
Why the World Needs to Hear It
I wasn’t introduced to black history outside of Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks or encouraged to fully embrace it until high school. My African studies teacher, Mrs. Owensby helped change my perspective of people of color. She introduced me and thousands of other students to HBCUs across the country and encouraged us to take pride in who we were through how we behaved in and outside the classroom. Although I am grateful for the introduction, I wish it had happened earlier.
The world needs to learn the truth as early as possible. As a society we have historically been fed falsehoods about many communities and people of color. It’s due time our children learn historical facts, develop a love and appreciation for black culture, and receive inspiration for their bright futures.
Ourstory in ClassroomsEducators can easily use this album in schools, after-school childcare programs and recreation centers to open the minds of young people. In songs like, Black Made That and Nubian Queens, we have heard names of historical figures in history and further researched them. One inventor my daughters wanted to learn more about was Lonnie Johnson, inventor of the Super Soaker water gun. The album does what text books just can’t do.
The anticipation is great and Fall 2018 can’t get here fast enough. I am raising two LEGO fanatics and the news we recently received has us cheesing from eart to ear. Easton Town Center, here in Columbus, has something special coming its way–LEGOLAND® Discovery Center! My family and I recently attended the groundbreaking for the new attraction.
The event included words from Easton’s CEO, Jennifer Peterson, representatives of LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus and Merlin Entertainments and Experience Columbus. Bertie the Builder, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center mascot, made an appearance, allowing attendees to snap picture after picture.
The highlight of the event was the dropping of 90,000 LEGOs from a dump truck, which kids soon ran to to build until their hearts were content. The cold temps didn’t stop anyone from having a little LEGO fun.
The LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus is set to open in the fall of 2018 (I’ll keep you posted). Children will have over 36,000 square feet of space to build and create. This $10 million indoor center’s features include:
LEGO Theme Play Areas
Two Interactive Rides
Master Model Builder Classes
My LEGO loving family cannot wait for the doors to open! It will be the perfect place to head to during the day after homeschool lessons.
Are you excited about what’s happening in Columbus?