When the month of February began, I never imagined that it would be a defining moment for our family. Life was moving as usual (in pandemic mode, of course)… then it happened: Black History Month Celebration at CWC West Valley… 

My ears perked up when I heard our daughter’s amazing first grade teacher announce that “we’re studying Black history because it’s American history, it’s world history, it’s human history”. She explained that we study it all year long and that we have a special month to highlight the many accomplishments of Black Americans in our society and world. I loved this framing.

The school celebration of Black History has become a transformative, uplifting and inspiring experience for our family. 

As a biracial family, my husband and I are very intentional about the kinds of messages our children receive at home related to who they are, where they come from and what they are capable of in life. 

From day one of the Black History Celebration at school, our daughter has been so fascinated with studying the lives of Black scientists, inventors, artists, leaders, teachers, activists, mathematicians, astronauts, engineers, doctors, entrepreneurs and the list goes on. 

That night, I ordered a bunch of new books for our family to enjoy. As each shipment arrived, our girl squealed in delight, hugging her new books and immediately jumping into reading more about the inspiring lives of beautiful and brilliant Black people from history and present time. Our daughter is so inspired and excited about what she’s learning that she sleeps with her Black Studies books all around her. 

Every day we learn about a Black genius who has had a positive impact in our society and world. With every story, our daughter sees more and more possibility for her own creativity, talent and excellence to shine. 

As a family, we are all learning together as we continue celebrating the ancestors and honoring the inspiring lineage of Black Excellence and Joy that has shaped our nation and world. 

It’s an absolute joy to watch our precious girl sing and dance to Beyoncé’s “brown skin girl” twirling with delight, celebrating her own existence and honoring all who have come before. 

We are witnessing our child’s identity development being positively shaped by all that she’s learning at school and at home. Her worldview is expanding. Her knowledge is building. Her role models are growing. Her dreams are getting bigger. Her pride in her African American roots is deepening. Her grounded knowledge of who she is, where she comes from and what she’s capable of continues to be inspired and nourished with every story of Black Excellence and Joy we learn.

With all the pain of injustice in our society, celebrating Black Excellence and Joy has been deeply healing and affirming for our family… I would hope for others as well.  

Thank you CWC West Valley. We will always remember that our daughter’s love and passion for Black Studies blossomed here.  

This post was written by Laura McMullin, PhD – an educator and consultant who is passionate about healing, wellbeing and transformation on an individual and collective level.  She and her husband Ian have a 1st grader at CWC West Valley and a preschooler who will join the CWC family soon.

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