by Akilah S. Richards
No one is immune to the byproducts of compulsory schooling and standardized testing. And while reform may be a worthy cause for some, it is not enough for countless others still trying to navigate the tyranny of what schooling has always been. Raising Free People argues that we need to build and work within systems truly designed for any human to learn, grow, socialize, and thrive, regardless of age, ability, background, or access to money. Families and conscious organizations across the world are healing generations of school wounds by pivoting into self-directed, intentional community-building, and Raising Free People shows you exactly how unschooling can help facilitate this process. Individual experiences influence our approach to parenting and education, so we need more than the rules, tools, and "bad adult" guilt trips found in so many parenting and education books. We need to reach behind our behaviors to seek and find our triggers; to examine and interrupt the ways that social issues such as colonization still wreak havoc on our ability to trust ourselves, let alone children. Raising Free People explores examples of the transition from school or homeschooling to unschooling, how single parents and people facing financial challenges unschool successfully, and the ways unschooling allows us to address generational trauma and unlearn the habits we mindlessly pass on to children. In these detailed and unabashed stories and insights, Richards examines the ways that her relationships to blackness, decolonization, and healing work all combine to form relationships and enable community-healing strategies rooted in an unschooling practice.
About the Author:
Akilah S. Richards is a public speaker and the founder of Raising Free People Network, a social enterprise focused on resolving the ways that unexamined experiences with bias and oppression disrupt families' and organizations' capacity to sustain cultures of belonging. Bayo Akomolafe is executive director and chief curator for the Emergence Network and is the author of We Will Tell Our Own Story and These Wilds Beyond Our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity's Search for Home.