Perusing the web today, I found a very relevant article on Clutch that highlighted a study that we here at Enchanted Roots’ blog find integral to our work. A study by Ming-Te Want (University of Pittsburg) and James P. Huguley (Harvard University) claims that healthy racial pride lends itself to academic achivement.
Britni Danile of Clutch points out:
The study, conducted by Ming-Te Wang and James P. Huguley of the University of Pittsburg and Harvard University respectively, found that “racial socialization”—teaching kids about their culture and involving them in activities that promote racial pride and connection—helps to offset the discrimination and racial prejudices children face by the outside world.
“Our findings challenge the notion that ‘race blindness’ is a universally ideal parenting approach, especially since previous research has shown that racially conscious parenting strategies at either extreme—either ‘race blindness’ or promoting mistrust of other races—are associated with negative outcomes for African American youth.
“When African American parents instill a proud, informed, and sober perspective of race in their sons and daughters, these children are more likely to experience increased academic success.”
Wang’s study surveyed 630 adolescents from middle class backgrounds to explore how racial discrimination and prejudice in school affects their G.P.A., educational goals, and future aspirations. They found racial pride to be the single most important factor in guarding against racial discrimination, and discovered it had a direct impact on the students’ grades, future goals, and cognitive engagement.
Despite fewer instances of multicultural and inclusive learning in school and the increased frequency in which black students are treated more harshly than their peers, Wang’s study shows that teaching kids, especially black children, to take pride in their culture is an integral part of their success.
Wang sums it up:
“Our study provides empirical evidence that the longstanding practice in the African American community of cultivating racial pride and preparing children to face racial bias in society should be considered among appropriate and beneficial practices in parenting Black children.”
The Prince and Timberance is an inspired tale that enchants readers. But we’d be selling the story short if we weren’t particularly attuned to the cultural significance a story of it’s caliber reaches beyond inspired artistry.
For many children, The Prince and Timberance will be the first time they read that dark skin, too, can be referenced as a thing of beauty. The Prince and Timberance may be the first time a handsome and noble prince and a humble, sweet maiden -who are both of African descent-are united in front of their very eyes in an original tale of true love. It will be the first time, for many, where more than one person of color is a protagonist worthy of admiration and relatability. Media is a powerful tool in establishing self-esteem, and no one has passionately held onto this concept more than my mother (author of the book) and I do.
Any lover of literature knows the power a good written work has of transcending cultural or racial barriers. A truly good story effortlessly ties in the reader no matter what their personal affiliation to the people or events, fictional or not, that are represented in its pages. Like any good fairy tale, The Prince and Timberance also connects universally with readers.
But unlike any other fairy tale before it’s time, The Prince and Timberance does not stop by featuring a person of African descent that is cast in a story originally portrayed by characters of another culture, place, or time.
The Prince and Timberance is unique in that it is an original story where the characters from the servant, to the king, to the maiden are all unified for once simply be all being African or African descendants. This is a simplistic but innovative portrayal for characters in a fairy tale. The Prince and Timberance serves many audiences and invites all to share in the wonderful tale. It also certainly seeks to address the very real issue of building self-esteem in the African-American child whose representation is scarce in the world of make-believe.
Purchase the original work The Prince and Timberance, read excerpts, and learn about the author at http://www.enchantedroots.com.
Thank you for dreaming with us!