Untold Stories: Our Inspired History with Lauren London.

Making a difference in my community is something I’ve always felt strongly about.

And, I mean really making a difference.  Not like, giving-birth-to-beautiful-creatures-and-smiling-at-the-mailman make a difference (although, yeah, I do that stuff too).

The kind of make-a-difference type thing I’d blog about one day tell my kids about and forever be proud of myself for being a part of.

When I joined Americorp with Teach for America in 2000, just days after graduating from college, I knew that what I was doing was gonna be one of those things.

uc irvine photo

The learning that went on in my classroom was vast.

While I shoved the cession of the southern states and subject-verb agreement on my students (I taught 8th grade language arts and history blocks), they unintentionally schooled me on epic stuff like life and love and dedication and honesty.  They pushed me to mature, to be stronger than I ever thought I could, to be a leader, a fighter, empathetic, and brave.

I’d like to think I gave them some things they could use for the rest of their lives as well, but the things I learned in that lonely Oakland portable molded me into the woman, the mother, the human I am today.

Added bonus: I honed all of my super hero powers in that classroom (yep, I have eyes in the back of my head and read minds in my spare time), making me not only a good teacher, but an awesome mommy too.  Seriously, ask The Dudes, I can SEE THROUGH WALLS PEOPLE.

When I heard the story behind The Kinsey Collection, the thing I most identified with was their desire to empower their community through education.  The works in the collection help tell the untold story of African American achievement in the arts and humanities.

It’s a rich story that proves that greatness comes in many colors, in all shapes and sizes, and from every walk of life.

I am sharing The Kinsey Collection with my own children to empower them; to help them understand that there is more to their history than slavery and segregation and racism and ugliness. That some of what their ancestors have contributed is about beauty and talent and joy and love and has nothing to do with things that divide nations and people and families and lives.

I also want them to appreciate that our personal familial history is varied (molded by the historical experiences of both African Americans and Mexican Americans in the U.S.) and filled with success and failures, discoveries and secrets, joy and pain.

Just like those in The Kinsey Collection.

I will be sharing my video about our personal family history soon as part of Untold Stories: Our Inspired History, but in the meantime, please enjoy Lauren London as she shares The Kinsey Collection in Tenacity of Hope

This post is sponsored by Wells Fargo. As always, thank you for reading our blog and supporting our sponsors.

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  1. says

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  2. kirby says

    I remember as a child attending the release of a book/film regarding the history of the Puerto Rican Community in Waterbury, CT. This reminds me of watching that, being there, and later reading about it in College and saying, “I was there!!!” This is amazing and so interesting to read/learn about the untold people in history. Can’t wait to hear yours!!

    • DudeMom says

      That’s how I felt about Miep Gies. She’s the lady whose family helped hide Anne Frank and her family during the war. I met her when I was like 13! And, when reading the book and watching movies and stuff I always get all excited because I met her! At 13 I have to admit I was not super excited because she was old, and I was young, and she was speaking Dutch, and I was staring. But, looking back now, it was pretty cool.

    • DudeMom says

      Thanks cousin! Although, I’m not sure MY Untold Stories is the same Untold Stories you’re thinking of. Because I’m really not THAT cool:)

  3. says

    Last year, during black history month, a coworker heard Tom Joyner’s daily little known black history fact (is it done outside of February? I don’t know). Anyway, this woman was floored, and felt compelled to tell me that she had no idea how many black people were inventors or whatever it was she’d heard that day. She’d only been taught about the “slavery and segregation and racism and ugliness” but that got her to thinking: she’d never really decided to look beyond the things she was taught either.

    I pride myself on being able to share things like The Kinsey Collection with my children. Because if I’m truly honest, these things, these accomplishments and historical facts, are still not widely taught in our schools.

    • DudeMom says

      It’s funny because my Dudes are never surprised when they find out someone who invented something or did something super smart is black. Pretty sure it’s my awesome role modeling. They were, however, shocked to discover that Macklemore was white. And, Natasha Beddingfield. Apparently that girl’s got soul for days according to my 8 year old.