I believe that teaching is an art.
At its best, a sacred art, a sacred responsibility. Audre Lorde
offers “I know teaching is a survival technique. It is for me, and I think it is in general; and that’s the only way real teaching, real learning, happens.” In this Philadelphia Assembled project, many of our collaborators seek to interrogate collective histories of resistance and imbue the 215 with el arte de la frontera, as Gloria Anzaldúa
writes, art practices that embody resistance, rupture, and self-transformation that unsettle colonial imaginations to soar toward true freedom.
In my contribution, in partnership with Ah-Young Kim and the Museum Education department, we are working to create a freely available resource guide for educators (little “e” educators) to engage young people with many of the critical questions that these ongoing months of events and actions shall offer. Questions like: What are the connections between the ongoing asset stripping of Black Philadelphia with the further erasure of current and ancestral Native land rights? What are everyday practices that produce sanctuary, noting from Marisa Franco
, where our defiance to current government-sponsored terror “must not simply recreate what existed, but instead expand, reimagine, and breathe life into its possibilities?” Tough questions for necessary changes, and of course, the language must be more accessible to allow for wider entry, just as our movements must learn from the wisdom of disability activists, such as those of Disabled in Action
, on what it means to multiply access to grow greater and greater solidarities. I’ll bring this introduction to a close with a speech excerpt from June Jordan
. She submits:
“I know of nothing more important, more difficult, and more purely loving than the nurture of chidren, be it as a parent, a teacher, or as an artist wishing to serve them well. Children are the ways that the world begin again and again. If you fasten upon that concept of their promise, you will have trouble finding anything more awesome, and also anything more extraordinarily exhilarating, than the opportunity and/or the obligation to nurture a child into his, her (their) own freedom.”
She continues on to say…
“And I want these things for children, because I want these things for myself, and for all of us, because unless we embody these attitudes and precepts as the governing rules of our love, and our political commitment to survive, we will love in vain, and we will certainly not survive.”
We intend to make room for a future not yet here. We intend to make space for our survival. The guide will be out in the Fall.