A summer camp where Black kids learn that Black is beautiful | Freedom Summer

A summer camp where Black kids learn that Black is beautiful | Freedom Summer

I don’t know if anyone is like destined to be a leader, but,, yeah, I could definitely
could become a leader, yeah. And I’m going to the
Black Lives Matter Camp. I’ll be a youth leader there, which means like
I’ll be helping, the regular like, leaders, with like teaching
the kids how to like, go around the camp and
like, some of the activities. I haven’t like ever gone
to a Black Lives Matter Camp. I’ve been to some of their
like events and stuff but like, I’ve never
actually been in the camp. Since it’s our first day, thanks everyone for being
patient for the bus. First, maybe we can just go
around and say our name, so we can get to know each
other and then we can do our opening activities
that we do every day. My name is Leroi, I’m the Coordinator
of Freedom School and I work in the,
serving the people, in the big kids room,
the Freedom Fighter room. It has to do with
the quality of education that our kids receive. (hands clapping, singing) Talking to parents and
being a parent myself and being an educator
as well in the system, we notice that black kids
often don’t get a chance to learn very
much about ourselves, and our histories
and our culture at all. And when we do, we most often learn about
enslavement and oppression. We are deeply inspired in
the work that we do here by the Black Panther
Party for Self-Defense and the school that
they created called the Oakland Community School. And in their party, they
had a 10 party platform, where they had 10 things
that they believed in to lift up black people. So, we have a kids version
of the 10 point platform that we say, to remind
us of our purpose. Moon? We want Land. We want land. – Bread.
– Bread. – Housing.
– Housing. – Education.
– Education. (drum sound) Having arrived at 13 for
Moon and witnessing him going through 13… It’s so important to have
a space where he can lead, while learning. Because developing
your autonomy, developing your sense of self, those things are important. And so to be in a space
that will nurture that, but also challenge
irresponsibility, and also challenge
a lack of empathy and challenge a lack of compassion and to challenge
that in a gentle and supportive way. I think that’s healthy,
that’s how we grow. So I really am excited
at this journey for him. So on your orange paper, you’re gonna think of the
characters who you want to be prominent in your story. Remember to
include yourself. So we’re talking about
respecting the power that kids have to envision
another world and to envision a future that
could be different for black people. They’re watching a lot
of really violent things happen to their
communities and their people. We want to sit
back and listen to if you got to create a
world for black people, what would it be like? How would you solve
your problems? If it’s not with police,
how would it be? If it’s not with prisons,
how would it be? So you want it
to be in where? – Zimbabwe.
– Okay so, Zimbabwe. Years in the future,
start with that. Years in the future. A young black boy,
which is you. That’s me.
Zim-bab-we. Z – I… So you guys could describe
what you think Zimbabwe looks like in the future. Okay. And rid Zimbabwe of prisons,
which made the land… absolutely stunning. A young black boy will
rise from the ashes and take down the system. That’s what I was gonna do. Just like that. Yup, with a flash of light. No, a flash of darkness. (both) – Ooooo. Teaching kids
that black is beautiful, and to love themselves and not only that
black skin is beautiful but that black people’s history, and experience and culture
and family is beautiful. What do I look like? I think you look really nice. You look strong! So we believe in
centering black kids in talking about the experiences
of African people and people of African descent. My mom teached
me how to draw. Your mom taught
you how to draw? Cause she’s an artist. How often to do you learn about
black people in your school? Well, they really don’t
talk about black people in that school. Because that’s a
white people school. How are different ways
that you show yourself, your black life matters or
that you love yourself? – Yeah?
– Sometimes, like eat good food. Okay, so one way that Phoenix shows himself that
his black life matters is eat healthy food. What other things could you do
to show yourself you matter? Transformative justice
would be like, if someone does
something that is wrong or hurts another person, then we would teach
them what they did wrong and what they can do to make that thing better. The story sounds
really incredible. I’m sorry that you got hurt, can you say sorry to Sarayah? No she did it to me. I want you to say sorry to her – I didn’t!
– It’s not about first, it’s not about first. – Actually, I didn’t.
– That’s okay, you can still say sorry to her so you can both
feel better, right? Sorry. There’ve been a few
incidents since like, the start of the school, so they’ve put me out
front to talk to the kids and whenever
I’m talking to them, I don’t want it to
seem like the person who’s trying to
be like “authority”, and I try to make
it seem like I’m actually trying
to make things right. I was not being mean I
was just telling her how I feeled when she
was being mean. I don’t hear anyone.
Say it loud! I’m black and I’m proud! I’m sorry, that’s not loud
enough, I said say it loud! I’m black and I’m proud! – Say it loud!
– I’m black and I’m proud! Come inside, let’s do this. I think that there needs
to be a massive overhaul of the education system
where its self-determined. And we get to decide what
our kids are gonna learn, how they’re
gonna be engaged, and who’s gonna be in
the classroom with them. We need to be in the
classroom with them. Parents need to be in
the classroom with them. I can’t read how
you feel right now because of your glasses. Yeah, that’s why I wear them. No, that’s actually
why I wear them. – Are you good?
– I’m in pain right now. Why? Reasons. Not emotional. – Heartbreak?
– Not emotional. Okay, good. Moon get some Tylenol! (light rain falling) (background chatter) (background chatter) (background chatter) (background dance music)
(background chatter) (background dance music)
(background chatter) (background dance music)
(background chatter) (steady bass beat)
(cheering) (steady bass beat)
(cheering) (steady bass beat)
(cheering) (loud cheering) (cheering) (cheering) (cheering) And we also wanted to
say a big thank you. There was many staff who helped
us over these three weeks. Doing everything from
cooking for us, driving us, taking
care of us, teaching us, helping us learn, everything. Moon Anita, Africa Freedom. (cheering) They learned a lot
about Black liberation. They were really engaged in the programming
that we were doing. They were really comfortable. It felt like a family
that we built over the three weeks that
we were together. I have something for you. Yeah, do you want it now? Based on your work this
is a gift from me to you. Congratulations! You can open it later,
you know what it is! I’m so proud of you. (low background
music and chatter)

8 thoughts on “A summer camp where Black kids learn that Black is beautiful | Freedom Summer

  1. For more unique perspectives, new voices, and innovative storytelling, check out our Short Docs playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyBdAUI4LX9jRNc2Ep5mc5qtLDMJdmX7o



  3. Nothing wrong with this, seems interesting, but imagine if they made a school only for white people………. complete chaos

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