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Boŋ Feerey: A Teaching and Learning Methodology for Healing the Wounds of Distance, Displacement, and Loss Caused by Hurricane Katrina

Robertson, C.C.; King, J.E.

March 1, 2007

This article examines the project “The Saddest Days: Katrina Experiences Through the Eyes of Children,” developed by the authors. The project uses the Gao School Museum (GSM) approach to develop instructional material that includes student experiences and voices. Specifically, the authors investigated how the “Saddest Days” Project, using the GSM methodology, develops Boŋ Feerey (a concept in the Songhay language that means “the process of opening one’s mind and accepting new ideas and approaches so as to integrate these new perspectives into one’s daily life”), which urges students and teachers to ponder how Katrina’s aftermath continues to affect African American youth. The disaster has affected not only African American youth from New Orleans but also those teachers and students located in the cities in which New Orleanians are hosted.