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Fox Valley student shares her story in newly published book “Teaching Beautiful Brilliant Black Girls”

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 4:36 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Sinclair Robins, a Fox Valley Lutheran High School senior, got to take part in a newly released book.

“I was given the opportunity to write a vignette about a lived experience,” said Robins.

Robins’s aunt, Omobolade Delano-Oriaran of St. Norbert College in De Pere, is one of the editors for “Teaching Beautiful Brilliant Black Girls,” which features more than 80 contributing authors.

The book aims to help white teachers understand, respect and connect with the Black girls in their classrooms.

Robins contributed her own story of an interaction she had with a teacher at eight years old. “To think back on it, I know that it hurts because I never viewed the teacher the same way again,” said Robins.

She says she was trying to question her teacher about their textbook using the term “forced emigration” instead of calling it slavery or chattel slavery.

Robins says her teacher wasn’t answering, so she kept asking until the teacher pulled her out of class and told Robins she’d teach what the book says and that Robins would get in trouble if she kept “misbehaving.”

When her mom picked her up from school that day, Robins says she genuinely feared she was in trouble while explaining what happened.

“Sitting in the backseat in the little car seat, I broke down in tears at my misbehavior. But instead of being mad at me, I could tell [my mom] was mad at the teacher,” said Robins, “because her daughter was being punished or disciplined for something that was not even wrong.”

It’s an interaction she’ll never forget, and Robins hopes teachers reading her passage will understand the long-term impact they can have on students.

“I want them to really keep that in mind,” said Robins. “I don’t want anyone to go through what I did.”

Robins hopes her perspective not only as a Black student but as a student on the autism spectrum can help others know they aren’t alone.

“I’ve been through the same situation and that we can get through it together and hopefully create a future where no one will have to go through what I did,” said Robins. “I know that I’m not the first, I know that I may not be the last, but I hope the last is to come soon.”

Robins also hopes that readers of the book will come away with a new perspective.

“I want them to know that Black girls can be brilliant and neuro-diverse. I want you to have faith in us. I want you to count on us,” said Robins. “I want you to know that we are the key to the future just like every other child is.”

The book is currently available for purchase on Amazon.

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