Are you looking for ways to center Black and Brown voices in your curriculum – not just pay them lip service during Black History Month? Are you interested in taking deeper dives into products, practices, and perspectives from Black and Brown francophone communities with your students? If you answered yes to any of these questions, regardless of where you are in your equity journey, please give AfroFranco.com a follow.
Benjamin Tinsley is the human behind AfroFranco.com. He is a Black teacher, curriculum developer, and consultant based in Philly, with an unapologetic passion for centering Black and Brown voices in his classroom. Every. Single. Day. My respect for Ben has grown so much over the past year and it is nothing short of an honor, a phrase I am actually borrowing from him, to recommend him and his resources. Here are a few reasons why you will do yourself and your students a real service by following and buying from AfroFranco:
We start with ourselves. We enrich our own knowledge and understanding of Black and Brown francophone communities by reading #OwnVoices books and discussing them in collegial meetings orchestrated by Ben. No matter how busy or tired I am, I never miss these book club meetings. They have brought depth to my professional and personal lives during this pandemic.
2. Map Talks
We all use maps in our classes but I absolutely love the way Ben uses them as an entry point into a culture. I think Ben actually coined the term “Map Talk” and I will let him explain the concept to you. Under Ben’s guidance, I am in the process of upgrading how I incorporate maps into my own practice.
3. Culturally-rich and comprehension-based resources
I just purchased and explored “On aime la Musique“, a thematic unit created by Ben on music from Senegal and the Antilles. There are weeks worth of materials, thoughtfully organized to guide our students through cultural comparisons. The unit leverages Personal Questions and Answers (PQA), Map Talks, Reading/Talking/Story scripts, and authentic resources. It also comes with assessments and rubrics. Here again, I will let Ben tell you about this unit. I highly recommend it!
4. Let’s put our money where our mouth is
Every February, businesses are profiting from selling us teaching resources for Black History Month. Why not buy from a Black-owned business instead? From someone who is actually walking the talk everyday in his classroom and shares top-notch resources? That’s where my money is going anyway.