Interrupting Bigotry

Dear Families,

 

On Thursday November 14th, while many families and teachers were meeting to discuss children’s progress and set goals at parent teacher conferences, a group of fifth grade students made their way to The Brooklyn Arts Exchange building for the first performance of this year’s Interrupting Bigotry project, led by BAX teaching artist José Joaquin Garcia.  As they walked through the subway station, they came across the following statement, which resonated.  

 

 

This group met for 13 sessions to prepare a piece using Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed  technique: the actors present a scene of oppression, the action is paused, the audience identifies the most oppressed character, and the audience members take turns coming up to join the scene and act out different approaches to interrupting the course of events and changing them.  As always, Interrupting Bigotry asks the audience to think about the impact of racism. It also challenges each of us to consider our actions and how we either interrupt or do not interrupt the oppression of others. This year, the cast also included Renee Montecier, an Educational Assistant who works with our fifth grade. 

 

5th graders Gregory Knott and Ameiko Samuels wrote powerful poems that they read during the Interrupting Bigotry share.  We reprint them here:

 

Too Many Excuses

 

Don’t call me your friend

and say all black people are broke

 

Don’t call me your friend

and tell me your racist jokes

 

Don’t call me your friend 

and assume that I steal

 

Don’t call me your friend 

and tell me “Reverse Racism” is real

 

I’m proud of the the skin I’m in

but words can cause bruises

 

So go bother someone else

with all your excuses

 

— Gregory Knott

 

What am I?

 

Is the question they ask me, as if I’m not human.

 

Speaking as if I’m some creature,

 

So curious about my features.

 

Little brown girl with long curly hair.

 

Of course, they have some instant mentions that my hair must be extensions. 

 

I am judged, when I am seen, 

 

like I’m not a human being.

 

They like to say, I don’t sound black, whatever that means.

 

I called them out. They say that they’re not racist

 

Because they have black friends. 

 

You know, typical racist people excuses.

 

But I’m Ameiko.  

 

They’re not throwing me off track.

 

— Ameiko Samuels

 

We couldn’t be more proud of our fifth grade students who participated in the powerful event.  Don’t worry those of you who didn’t see it. The kids will be performing again, here at BNS, one time for grade five and another time for grade four.  As well, they will redo the show in the spring on March 29th at BAX. 

 

All for now,

Anna and Diane 

 

Dear My Blessed BNS Family,

On behalf of the UFT and BNS’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” Campaign, I am so grateful for everyone’s support.  As a community, we raised $2230 for this important cause. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Your support of this work and the UFT’s campaign has made my heart bigger.

Love and Blessings,

Ms. Margaret

 

Greetings to everyone,

Here are the results from counting the money in the students’ UNICEF donation boxes we already picked up.  The first pickup totaled $1931.01.   

Thank you for all of your help.

Best wishes,

Monroe Allison

Brooklyn for Peace UNICEF Committee

 

PTA NEWSLETTER LINK 

 

Dateline:

 

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