Lovely Hoffman, a teacher at Dorchester's Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy, has created a new song and companion video entitled "My Black Is Beautiful" that features a dozen of her students.
“We need to sing songs and incorporate our children," said Hoffman, a Roxbury native who has been an educator for 15 years. "These songs are songs children can embrace and learn from. It’s important that our young black and brown children have a strong sense of self to embrace their blackness because it all transfers into their academics, everything is interconnected."
"It’s making sure our children feel good about themselves because the issues as a community and as women stem from low self-esteem,” said Hoffman.
Hoffman will perform and share stories of her entitled songs “My Black is Beautiful” and “Black Lives Matter” at her alma mater— Boston College— on February 3 from 6-8 p.m.
Hoffman credits her success to and defining herself instead of letting society do it for her.
“When I perform, I incorporate ‘My Black is Beautiful’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ song that I have for the importance of social justice and music for social change. It’s the premise for everything I do.”
The lyrics of the song and music video— directed by Brandon "Kumah" German and written by Hoffman— showcases a strong message of self-acceptance despite the media’s impact on the social construct of beauty.
“I was inspired from my experience from a society that undermines the beauty of black women and the diversity of black women. Black beauty comes in all shapes, facial features and hair textures. I wrote this from loving myself as a woman and understanding what the children need,” said Hoffman. “The music that you sing should reflect the situations your people are facing. Teachers can be proactive and say not only can I put this in my lesson, but here is this 7-day curriculum that involves powerful and rich discussion about image, skin and beauty, and how and why it’s important to embrace who they are. Teachers can be proactive and ensure our children have a strong sense of who they are.”