HOOP EARRINGS ORIGINATED IN AFRICA AROUND 2500 B.C.E.!

As a small child my idea of beauty was red lips and big hoop earrings. That was the idea I had in my head for my ideal look when I grew up. My mother would never let me wear large earrings as a child, but she always kept me in little hoops. I couldn’t wait for the day I was allowed to wear the big ones. 

Did you know hoop earrings date back to Nubia, a civilization that existed in the fourth century in what is now present-day Sudan?! In ancient Egypt, both men and women wore hoop earrings. Egyptian royalty including queens and pharaohs like Nefertiti, Hatshepsut, Tutankhamen and Cleopatra wore gold hoops, but it was the style. For Egyptians, “earrings were seen as something that enhanced one’s beauty and sexuality.”  As a child, my mother told me earrings always make you look beautiful. I never leave the house without a pair on and the few times I have… I actually have stopped in the store and bought a pair, because I felt naked.

I grew up in a white neighborhood and they made sure to let me know my hoops were ghetto! Instead of it making me feel bad, I embraced it! After all, I am originally from Duquesne, PA… not Westlake Village, CA where I went to school. I had NO problem living my true-self and was always PROUD of exactly where I came from. My knowledge of self has always been STRONG even when my mother’s sisters tried their best to reprogram and whitewash me. I love my Blackness and I am proud of it! Some things are innate to who you are! Bamboo earrings are more than a L.L. Cool J song.

How refreshing it was to find out it’s in my blood! It’s a part of who I am… Egyptians that were not royalty were also buried wearing their hoop earrings, to enhance their beauty and appeal in their afterlife.

Hoop earrings are NOT a fashion trend but a fashion staple and a part of our history! 

Happy Black History Month, Sistas! Let’s keep passing our fashion staples down through generations. I will be putting some bigger hoops in my daughter’s ears this month thanks to Grandma! (She hooked her up.) Make it a “THANG” as you put those earrings in your daughters’ ears. Teach them it’s their history and to sport those earrings with pride!

AS WE PREPARE FOR OUR 2019 SCHOOL YEAR

Psychological verbiage is one of the biggest issues I’ve observed that minority parents have with our school system.

Elementary school teachers, please, as you’re planning your lessons for Black History Month, I beg you to pay attention to your verbiage! These historical names you will be teaching about were not born slaves! They were born people who were forced into slavery. I know many are like, what’s the difference. There is a big difference. When you are explaining things to children, it is your opportunity to shape their mind forever.

Slaves were thought of as less than…beneath others. So, calling them slaves before you call them people helps carry on the same mentality America has carried for centuries, which doesn’t help White America connect with empathy! It also plays on the self-esteem of your young black students. Early on, it embeds in their minds that they come from a lineage of the lessor than tribe of people! As if they were born from savages, which is the furthest from the truth!

As a teacher, this is your chance to really change the future of our country forever! Let’s not just make lesson plans surrounded by the mandatory guide lines. Let’s remember why you first got interested in your career and that was to help change the world one child at a time!

Empathy is something that some people are NOT born with, it needs to be taught. It is the “ability to consciously put oneself in the mind of another individual and imagine what that person is thinking or feeling.”  Automatically white children are not thinking, “This could be me.” So, they look over at sometimes the only black child in the class and associates it to them. (I know this first hand. I was the only black child in my class.  I dreaded the looks EVERY YEAR.)

It’s an opportunity to help children discover what they may have in common with these legendary people they are learning about. It is a proven fact that adults tend to feel greater empathy for an individual when they perceive the individual to be similar to them. So why would children be any different?

At this point, Black History Month is the only form of Reparations Black Americans have! So please, do it the justice it deserves.