Ain’t gonna let nobody

My son attends a public school with a hands on, art, social studies and science focus. The approach to curriculum is integrated between all subject areas and focused on the whole child. I am beyond pleased with the education he has received since Kindergarten.

One of the things I love about the school is the strong focus on community. At all grade levels, the students reflect on what it means to be a part of a community, to celebrate the gifts that each individual child brings to the community and to take responsibility for taking care of each other.

In 4th grade, there is a musical that happens each year. Apparently third graders get very excited to watch the 4th grade musical, and in my son’s case, he started singing some of the tunes he heard them practicing.

The theme of this year’s musical was “Freedom” and all the classes sang songs and recited poems that related to that theme. They sang a lot of civil rights era songs and shouted out words and phrases that gave the songs some context.

One song that really stood out to my son is this song

This past weekend we listened to this version of the song (of course it sounded different being sung by 4th graders) and started talking in more detail about segregation, racial hatred and Mississippi. Difficult but necessary conversations to have with children of all races, and a painful conversation for to have with my Black son. We talked about what people endured to gain the right to vote and why we vote every single time there’s an election.

These are hard topics for an eight year old to process, so I let him guide the conversation and when he was ready to stop asking questions and talking about it, we did. It wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last time we talk about these and other difficult topics.

Ain’t gonna let nobody
Turn me around
Turn me around
Turn me around
Ain’t gonna let nobody
Turn me around
I’m gonna
keep on walking
Keep on talking
Marching up to
Freedom land

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