What is bullying?
Television and the movies give us images of a big, strong, dumb intimidating boy beating up his smaller, brilliant classmate or of a popular group of boys – usually from the same athletic team at the school – shoving a nerd into a hallway locker and locking him inside it.
While those things do happen – and are, indeed, bullying – bullying behaviors can be much more complex and varied than those stereotypes.
For example, while some bullying is physical and easy to recognize, bullying can also occur quietly and covertly, through gossip or on a smart phone or the internet, causing emotional damage.
An act is defined as bullying when:
- The behavior hurts, humiliates, or harms another person physically or emotionally.
- Those targeted by the behavior have difficulty stopping the action directed at them, and struggle to defend themselves.
- There is also a real or perceived “imbalance of power,” in which the student with the bullying behavior has more “power,” – either physically, socially, or emotionally – such as a higher social status, or is physically larger or emotionally intimidating.
- The bullying behavior is repetitive. However, bullying can occur in a single incident if that incident is either very severe or arises from a pattern of behavior.
The behavior can be overt and direct, with physical behaviors, such as fighting, hitting or name calling, or it can be covert, with emotional-social interactions, such as gossiping or leaving someone out of an activity on purpose. Bullying occurs in-person, online or through smart phones and texts.
The Impact of Bullying
While many books on bullying have been written for parents, teachers and children of all ages, only two have been written specifically for children of Afrikan descent. Much more needs to be written as it is a proven fact that people of Afrikan descent suffer more bullying than any other ethnic group – hell, most of us in the Diaspora are where we are because bullies took our ancestors and enslaved them in faraway lands (and the bullying continues) – and suffer more long-lasting psychological effects because we view being victimized as being a punk, chump or rooty-poot scrub, so we keep quiet about it, have no outlet for the pain and suffering and the stress manifests as strokes, heart attacks, depression, violent behavior, anxiety and loathing of self, culture and community.
The aforementioned two books designed specifically for the education, enlightenment and healing of Black people throughout the world who have suffered bullying are Bomani’s Stand, by Angela Freeman and The Young Afrikan Warriors’ Guide to Defeating Bullies and Trolls, by Balogun Ojetade.
When a bully begins to create mischief in the neighborhood, Bomani has to make a choice. Will he be a coward or a warrior? Bomani’s Stand is the latest book in the “Nilajah’s Series”. This book teaches important lessons in manhood that both boys and girls enjoy and benefit from.
Angela Freeman’s “Nilajah Series” is centered on the dynamics of loving Black families. By exploring the relationship between family members, many topics facing the Black community are addressed in age-appropriate ways. This series is designed to combat the degeneracy and myths of inferiority that Black children are inundated with daily through mainstream media outlets.
As with all Angela Freeman Books, this is made for adults and children to read together. Doing so encourages dialogue between the generations. Children tend to ask many questions during and after reading this book. Make the most of their questions by encouraging them to think critically to find answers. Enjoy!
Bullying is a widespread problem that affects thousands of teens of Afrikan descent throughout the Diaspora. Victims of bullying battle depression, anxiety, insecurity, and fear. Sadly, some victims internalize their frustration by harming themselves or become bullies as well. But if adults and our youth agree that bullying is so devastating, why does it continue? Most importantly, how can it be stopped?
The Young Afrikan Warriors’ Guide to Defeating Bullies and Trolls addresses these and many other questions about a major issue for children, young adults and their families.
This one-of-a-kind book uncovers the social pressures and individual choices that lead to violence and provides techniques, tips and tactics for youth, parents and teachers to employ that can pave the way for social action and even save lives.
The knowledge, experiences and methods found within The Young Afrikan Warriors’ Guide to Defeating Bullies and Trolls will not only teach children and young adults to protect themselves and to think critically about bullying but will also empower them to change both themselves and the circumstances that foster abuse in their schools and their communities.
Pick up your copy of Bomani’s Stand for the very young Warriors you know, love, teach and train and pick up The Young Afrikan Warriors’ Guide to Defeating Bullies and Trolls for the preteen and teenaged ones.
Parents and teachers, sit with your children as they read Bomani’s Stand and you and your teens read The Young Afrikan Warriors’ Guide to Defeating Bullies and Trolls. Be prepared to answer questions your young warriors will have about each book, discuss strategies for handling bullies with them and work on tactics and techniques for avoiding and defeating the efforts of bullies and trolls.