Spreading the Word: Talking About The Course with The Verge and GoNoodle

On 2/25, I’ll be leading a webinar on talking to young children about race, organized by GoNoodle. You can sign up here.

My core mission in creating The Black Experience in America: The Course was to pass along knowledge and perspective to my two sons, and equip them to have a positive impact on our society. I wanted to design a curriculum and experience that would prompt them to as deep questions and that would inform them about the triumphs and failures of previous generations.

The first challenge, though, was structuring The Course. I didn’t want to start with chronological history, and I didn’t want to start with slavery. I wanted to connect the subject matter with the learner in a way that was meaningful and provocative. The structure I chose borrowed from a narrative structure I learned as a writer for newspapers and magazines: First hook readers by showing the relevance of the story subject. Then give them some history of the subject. Finally, show them the dynamics at play, and what might happen next.

My version of that structure in The Course resulted in three parts, or “cycles.” And I’m finding the structure is pretty flexible for talking about race and society with people of all ages. We can simplify the three parts of The Course into Identity, History and Habits.

That’s the framing I’ll use in a free webinar with GoNoodle parents coming next Thursday. Also joining the conversation: Dr. Stormee Williams of Children’s Health System of Texas, based in Dallas.

I’ll be offering GoNoodle parents free access to Lesson 1 of The Course, The Souls of Black Folk, through the month of March.

Sign Up

GameStop and The Course: I’m the Guest in the Latest Episode of Decoder

I’m usually the person asking the questions, but not this time. My friend Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief of the massive tech publication The Verge, had me on his podcast this week to talk about the significance of the GameStop phenomenon (which I’ve been covering on CNBC) and about my work on The Course (in the last 20 minutes). Check it out!

You are among the first to know about The Course, and I appreciate your early support. Remember, you can buy a lesson bundle, and send others the link:

Also, it’s now easy to purchase a lesson as a gift:

New: Buy a $5 lesson in The Course for someone else! Fully-paid access to an interactive lesson will go to the email address of your choice. This is a great option for introducing kids to the lessons.