Ep 195: Black Unschooling Dads Jamal and Kris discuss the tools they gather while raising free people
Today we’ll be joined by two unschooling dads, Jamal Hester and Kris Richards. They will be pointing out some insights on Black fatherhood, re-parenting and unschooling!
Jamal is the co-owner of Life Strength & Health holistic center. They also have a podcast where we can find great resources on healing work. Kris Richards is a graphic designer, artist, and creative brander. He’s also Akilah’s partner and Marley and Sage’s dad.
*What We Discussed:*
Jamal and Kris talk about how their labels of “who they are” as parents, sons, partners, are under certain expectations and are mostly validated by someone else's perspectives. They also chat about the importance of re-configuring parenting styles to have a different approach to the way we are raising our children, and the kind of relationships that we want to nurture.
They also discuss seeing some patterns from their behavior reflected in the ways that their own parents and other elders beliefs and parenting styles were directly influenced by the colonial narrative. They give examples of that, and speak to their struggle to change that, so their children can see things from a different perspective, and can understand that it's okay to make mistakes, to speak up, and to question things, in order to grow and to thrive.
*“Domesticated” parents raising “wild” children*
Kris shares how his relationships with his daughters shifted when he realized that he was imposing ideas about what he believed was best for them. He had to step back from his thoughts on things like screen time, but at the same time consider the importance of giving them context so they could navigate through and question what they were watching on that screen. The skill he began to learn was how to start showing up from a space of listening, and of trust in order to get in sync.
Jamal speaks about his relationship with his daughter, SaHura, and how he and his wife, Kim, use essential oils as part of a supportive environment for their daughter to manage and understand her emotions.
Quote from Jamal about his daughter: When SaHura understands, there is no resistance. When she’s just told, and she gets no context, it never goes well.
*Deschooling is like an onion*
Jamal uses the metaphor of the onion, peeling back the layers of an onion is like letting go of the things that we believed, and in doing so, there are certain conditions we have to change and others we decide to keep. It’s a process of learning what works and what doesn’t, and it is affected by everything, including the food we eat, our fitness and the overall ways we take care of ourselves.
* Don’t miss TRUE: Towards Radical Social Change Unschooling and Parental Education, an earthwide virtual gathering towards radical social change. December 2 - 6 - 2020. Register here
* Raising Free People Network’s Presence Counselors Leslie Bray and Anthony Galloway, Jr. are here to support unschooling and deschooling processes for families and organizations
* If you are hosting or are part of a Raising Free People Book Club please be sure to message Fatima@raisingfreepeople.com with the details about that book club
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