Honoring the past – Inspiring the future!
As an organization centered around education, it is important for us to remember that Black history is not just a subsection of American history; it IS American history! In the U.S., Black history is often taught in a way that is incomplete, inaccurate, and centered around whiteness, rather than the people who actually lived and experienced it first-hand.
Additionally, the early learning sector as we know it today is rooted in the racist legacy of slavery, as Black enslaved women were often forced to care for young white children. In the late 1930s, this discrimination continued as domestic workers – including nannies and child care providers, many of whom were Black women – were directly excluded from the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. The impact of this can still be seen in our work today, as providers still lack basic workplace protections and continue to earn poverty wages.
Despite these obstacles, Black leaders and organizations have always been leaders in improving early learning accessibility and quality. They demonstrated amazing resilience and tenacity while spreading care, love, and joy to the children and communities they served. Throughout the month, BrightSpark will be highlighting some of these Black early learning champions who have made our work possible.
Be sure to keep a lookout on our website and social media pages for these highlights!