Yesterday we went into Philadelphia for the Celebration of African Cultures at the Penn Museum. This was our third year going. It has become such a great annual tradition for our family. Kyle and Owen are starting to understand some basics of their ancestry. They understand that they are Haitian-American, first and foremost, and they are starting to understand the bigger picture of what it means to be African-American and part of the Haitian and African diaspora. This was the first year since we started going to the Celebration of African Cultures that the boys began asking what the word “culture” really means. We had some big discussions about that. Recently I can feel us moving into new realms with their curiosity, inquisitiveness, and questioning regarding more complex questions of race, ethnicity, heritage, lineage, and the larger social world. I anticipate lots and lots of big conversations in the years to come. Going to the Celebration of African Cultures each year — even at these young ages — is one of the (so many) ways we are conscientiously trying our darnedest to lay down a strong foundation for our boys. We feel a heavy burden, as white parents raising black sons. We are grateful for every opportunity that we can grasp on this journey. Yesterday was a great day for us. Highlights~~ Kyle and Owen participated in two workshops– first an African Dance Workshop and then a Hip-Hop Dance Workshop (both were awesome!); the boys made fast friends with some cool kids (always so amazing how quickly kids can become tight!); and the “Stilt Man” (K & O’s name for him) — a big hit with the boys — returned again this year in the Grand Finale Show. Meera was not thrilled about the whole event, but she tolerated it well with very little fussing (albeit not much enthusiasm either), and the boys’ enthusiasm more than made up for her lack-thereof.
Kyle flaunts his moves in the center of the Hip-Hop circle!