Please Note: This mini-lesson is written with faith-based Melanated Homeschooling families in mind and mentions God and references being a person of color. We recommend that you read through all of the materials first and use what works for your family.
This mini-lesson is meant to serve as a tool to help you share and process with your children about Ahmaud Arbery’s murder. It has three parts: a preface, the story, and an explanation of racism. To prepare for this conversation, read the bullet points below and the potential questions on page 2.
You know your children best: We provide a preface before sharing Ahmaud Arbery’s story. The preface is an opportunity for you to take your child’s emotional temperature and determine if this is a good time to share this story. Pay attention to how your child responds as you foreshadow what you are about to share. If it seems like they may not be ready, set this aside for another time. Likewise, if at any point it seems to be too much once you begin to share, stop and set it aside for a later time.
Read together: This mini-lesson is written on a 5th-grade level. We encourage you to print a few copies and invite your children to read along with you.
Explanation of racism: We provide a very simple explanation of racism. As with anything when simplified the definition is imperfect but serves to get at the heart of the prejudiced attitudes and beliefs that lead to senseless murders like Arbery’s.
Pace Yourself: This is a hard conversation for adults and even more so for our children. It’s okay if your children are not ready to talk about this or can only process parts of it right now. Unfortunately, this will be a conversation that will be revisited many times and it’s okay if you don’t share everything this time.
Prepare Yourself: Your children will have questions. Though we have tried to answer some of the questions they may have within this lesson, we have not answered all of them. On the next page we have listed a few tough questions that your children may ask you. We encourage you to read these questions and consider your responses and viewpoints before diving into this lesson with your children.
This is not a conversation that any parent should have to have with their child, but a necessary conversation for those of us raising black children. While intentionally crafted, this mini-lesson is far from perfect. We hope, however, that it might add structure to a very difficult conversation and serve as a starting point for deeper conversations that we will, unfortunately, have to have with our children in the future.