Yasmeen Kamrani Sallam
Invitation to Create Marsha P. Johnson Flower Crowns
The late African-American Marsha P. Johnson was a celebrated transgender activist in the gay liberation movement. Marsha P. Johnson, the “P” stood for “Pay It No Mind,” which is what she would say in response to questions about her gender. During her time the term "transgender" wasn't widely used so she referred to herself as gay, transvestite, and a drag queen.
To honor her dedication to helping others and being an important figure for #blackhistorymonth inviting a child to recreate her enigmatic and timeless style is a great way to celebrate her. She was known for wearing crowns of fresh flowers that she would receive leftovers under the tables in the Flower District of Manhattan. To recreate this invitation you can print images of Marsha, laminate them, and then provide flowers in a PlayTray.
Johnson said her ambition was “to see gay people liberated and free and to have equal rights that other people have in America.”
Helping children understand at a young age to treat others with respect and kindness can only be done so by exposure and providing opportunities to see differences. Talking about people such as Marsha, guiding them with the concepts, and vocabulary that enriches their understanding of a boy wanting to dress up as a girl or the other way around. By answering their questions or asking them questions, building their vocabulary, and establishing acceptance, these will lay a foundation early on about all these different possibilities, to always keep an open mind and have a stronger social emotional connection for others. This is another key reason why inclusivity matters.
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI) protects and defends the human rights of BLACK transgender people. To support donate here.