I recently returned from the Nanny Day Celebration in Moore Town, in Portland, Jamaica, nestled in the mountains. There, people gathered to celebrate over 283 years of freedom and the role of the maroons in the liberation of Jamaica.
The day before the actual festivities began - a language conference in which contributors presented on the relevance, preservation, and restoration of Kromanti, the language of Maroon resistance. The Kromanti language is the mother tongue of the Jamaican Maroons. The Maroons are descendants of enslaved Africans who escaped to freedom from colonial oppression and formed their own independent communities in the 17th century.
The language thrived in these communities and only began to diminish in usage in the early 20th century. It is generally spoken now only by elders in Maroon communities. I was inspired by what I learned at the conference. Community elders, academic scholars, school administrators, and others presented on the efficacy of the language, its origins, and its connection to culture with such pride and passion. It is the language used by their ancestors who resisted colonization and fought for their freedom.
To a certain extent, I believe that Black Homeschooling is a form of resistance. Many Black families decided to Homeschool because of the egregious examples of racism they witnessed or experienced in schools. However, it isn't just about escaping a racist educational system but about offering something better in its place. The path we have chosen is not easy and, at best, puts us at odds with the current educational system by resisting the current norms.
As Black parents and caregivers, Homeschooling offers an opportunity to arm our children with what they need to resist the inescapable realities of Institutional racism that they will face as adults by buffering them while they are young from the irreversible damage to the spirit that it causes.