On Friday, Viva came home with a notice in her backpack that International Day will be held on April 24th. Oh, how nice – what a great opportunity for the kids to learn about different cultures, etc. In the past, students at her school have been given the option of wearing traditional dress or bringing traditional food if they choose.
But not this year. This year, the school is having an International Talent Show and requiring kids to participate in it. The school is also requiring a monetary donation of $10 per kid. The school is also requiring each kid to bring a dish from their "home country." The school also wants parents to donate cultural items to a “mini-museum,” and wants parents to participate both in the talent show and the all-day events. What the fizzle?
[Commence rant.] If you are African-American, this whole thing is just annoying. First of all, what country are we to choose? Sweet Dub says, “America. She is American. Send some damn apple pie.”
I say, to be even more obnoxious, “She allegedly has Cherokee on both sides. Maybe I should send some cornbread. Or maybe I’ll send some maize.”
I’m not up on the AIM doings, but I do know that the Cherokee are a separate nation. Why not claim that as our country?
I have no idea which country or countries in Africa we hail from. I also have no idea which country or countries in Europe we hail from. I’ve heard rumors of Spanish descent on my side, and the Blah Blahs’ family surnames are all English or Irish in origin, but as we all know, that doesn’t mean we are necessarily related to the people who gave us those surnames. I’m Cherokee on my dad’s side and Gingaskin on my mom’s (the Gingaskin are actually a tri-racial tribe from the eastern shore of Virginia). Since the Gingaskins were terminated as a tribe by being absorbed as free “mulatto” or “colored” folk on the census rolls back in the day, I really have no idea what food they ate. Nor were they ever recognized as a separate nation, never mind one of the Five Civilized Tribes who are way more well-documented.
Don’t even get me started on the talent show.
Nonetheless, I think this is a good opportunity to talk with Viva about her heritage and appreciation for all the different peoples that make up the world. And I’m sure she’ll learn something. The question is, what can we teach her classmates about her nation?
Weigh in. I’m interested to hear what you think.
P.S. Can I also just say that I find it annoying that the school is having International Day during the same week as Earth Day? And yet they have no Earth Day events planned. Why choose a random day to celebrate when you have an internationally-recognized eco-conscious day already on the calendar? Save the earth or there will be no nations. For heaven’s sake!