Friday, December 15, 2017, NOVEMBER and I made a visit to Bankhead’s Woodson Park Academy to meet and greet Mr. Perry’s 1st Grade class. What was supposed to be a lecture type of event quickly turned into something more inspirational then I could have imagined. This group of fun-loving, hug giving 6 and 7-year-olds, who compliment one another every morning before they start their busy day of learning and growing, truly inspired me.
As soon as I dropped my purse and coat I popped a squat right on the carpet next to Ashton, a future boxer who didn’t mind my company, as I joined in with their morning routine. Watching them effortlessly say something they liked about one another and some even finishing it off with a hug, because they “like it so much”. It inspired me!!! The night before, and in the weeks before, I had been preparing for this day and in the midst of setting my alarm, plugged a phone into a dead laptop. I missed my alarm, and our ride and I lost it. My dear husband trying to calm me down, “we are going to make it” he eventually got me to relax. After Mr. Perry’s compliment, I raised my hand and exclaimed he forgot about us!!! I then looked at my husband/partner and told him in front of the class how much I liked the way he helped me out this morning, “I was late for school and I was stressed out but I like the way you were patient with me” and I gave him a big hug.
After the circle, November talked to the children about their dreams and what they wanted to be when they grew up. Car engineers, basketball players, dancers, boxers, strong men, wrestlers, pilots, rappers and my favorite, Ms. Billionaire. Yes, hunnay!!! November and the students then made up a song, “When I Grow Up” a call and response game that allowed the children to think quick and also give each one a platform to call out their answer. It was fun and informative. Once that activity was over the children were just in awe and I think we were too. We came to meet them and barely talked about ourselves. Talking with them and absorbing their fresh outlook on the world. We also let them into ours, we orchestrated a dope cypher. November along with the class lead the beat, future rapper “lil Chauncey” was center carpet and the background dancers (including me) “dapped” and “rollied” to his freestyle. That at first was a recital to Desiigner but quickly turned into Lil Chauncey going off the top to the impression of November shouting out “you got bars, that’s it, that’s it!!!” As he cheered on this young man’s talent. We had an amazing time!!!
It was refreshing to take some time away from work and just draw on some tee shirts, we even got Mr. Perry to design a shirt. Some notable highlights would be when the entire class tackled November while taking a selfie, also when Dakota asked me what a “consultant” was again, and hearing November remind the young king’s to “respect your sisters in school because they are queens”. I could be caught staring at these beautiful young queens fighting back smiles, I reminded them they are young queens and that it is “ok to be STRONG but we have to always be graceful, sweet, and respectful to our brothers because they are kings.” (Mr. Perry advised that the girls are a little rough on the boys) All in all it was hard to go, but not before we took a few pics in our custom tee’s, grabbed about 3 dozen hugs, and November knocking over the book display in the hallway as we headed out the door. Our visit to Woodson Park Academy was both refreshing and enlightening. The Bankhead area gets a bad rap, but just like how I feel about where I come from, the most beautiful, talented people come from the roughest places, so many diamonds that have yet to be discovered. Don’t sleep on ‘em. Signing off from the heart of a #BronxHead to hearts #Bankhead with love.