We all face challenges in our lives, but tapping into our resiliency – the ability to manage stress and hardship – can help us continue on in difficult situations.
For African Americans, fighting racial injustice is an ongoing struggle, rooted in the past and continuing today, both as overt and systemic racism. In his book The Undefeated, author Kwame Alexander highlights the power of resiliency within the Black community as a means to push back against racism throughout American history.
Learning about the struggle for racial justice for African American community within the context of American history helps children identify and build their own sense of empathy, purpose, self-esteem and other factors that contribute to resiliency.
What Makes You Unstoppable?
For this activity, we encourage you and your children to think about ways African Americans have remained strong in the face of extreme adversity — physical, political, social and economic — and find inspiration to tap into your own resiliency.
- Watch and listen to author Kwame Alexander read his book The Undefeated
- When you’re done, pause and take a deep breath in then a longer exhale out
- Choose a page from the book that inspires you and read/listen to it again. Why did you choose this page? (Write your or draw your thoughts using this Mindful Journal page)
- Write about a time or a situation where you needed to be resilient . It can be a one-time event or an ongoing situation (you can use another Mindful Journal page to share your thoughts)
- What about you makes you unstoppable?
- How might you use your strengths — the things that make you unstoppable — to fight for racial justice?
Kwame Alexander Reads The Undefeated
Building and strengthening resilience helps children (and grown-ups) overcome adversity and thrive. Ways to build resilience include meditation, reframing a situation, positive thinking and choosing an optimistic outlook over a negative one.
Ramp Up Your Resilience! (Harvard Medical School)
Building Emotional Resilience to Promote Health (National Institutes of Health)