Boston School Teacher and R&B artist, Lovely Hoffman, releases a powerful music video entitled “My Black is Beautiful” to celebrate the diversity of beauty as a way to boost the self-esteem of her students.
The music video features Lovely and twelve of her 7th and 8th-grade students displaying their natural features while she encourages self-love through song and lyrics that affirms their beauty.
“There is a strong correlation between self-esteem and student achievement, Lovely says. “As an educator, I believe it is my duty to not only ensure students are excelling academically, but are also comfortable and confident in their own skin. It’s about educating the whole child.”
With over 10 years of classroom experience, Lovely would often become aware of students feeling self-conscious about their appearance because they were not fair-skinned, did not have long straight hair or other physical characteristics that are often promoted as a beauty standard. Being cognizant of this condition, Lovely felt compelled to write a song to help improve the self-confidence of young girls of color.
In addition to releasing My Black Is Beautiful, Lovely has also made available a self-esteem curriculum she developed and used in the classroom. The curriculum contains 7 guided lessons designed to help teachers facilitate discussions and activities about “loving yourself” and the true meaning of beauty. Some of the essential questions within the curriculum include: What has influenced our ideas about beauty? What makes us uniquely beautiful? and Why is it important to define beauty for ourselves?
Lovely says the curriculum addresses the “critical questions young girls of color must explore in order to truly embrace their beauty.”
Lovely Hoffman is a singer, songwriter and IRNE award-winning musical theatre performer. She hails from Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood and gained notoriety when she played the lead role in the New England premiere of Speakeasy Stage Company’s musical production of The Color Purple. Lovely co-founded an initiative to re-connect Black Americans to their African ancestry and has taken students and community members to Africa, visiting Senegal, Ghana and Uganda. Lovely is currently arranging performances and speaking engagements at middle schools, high schools and universities to share the message of My Black Is Beautiful.
Follow Lovely on Twitter @LovelyHoffman or visit her website www.lovelyhoffman.com