Teachers

My Christmas Gift from Michelle Smith – my New Soul Sister. 

Just before the holidays, most teaching professionals gripe about grading papers on social media. Professor Smith’s experience is going viral and garnered at least two articles by online publications, besides the entry in her own blog entitled, “Maybe We Do Need White History Month or Millennials Don’t Know Shit About Slavery or Picking Appropriate Essay Topics or Being a Black English Adjunct Sucks Sometimes–Merry Christmas”.

Smith reviews an essay on the benefits of slavery turned in by one of her students with a thought provoking essay of her own. For a young adult to determine any social or political benefit from slavery to African Americans is disturbing. We have not done our jobs. Do we seem too complacent in our damage and recovery? Smith’s essay lays groundwork for new national conversations, if we would only listen.

This is definitely going to be a Merry, Merry Christmas.

Source: Maybe We Do Need White History Month or Millennials Don’t Know Shit About Slavery or Picking Appropriate Essay Topics or Being a Black English Adjunct Sucks Sometimes–Merry Christmas

Ivory Toldson Taking the Lead in Educating Black Students | Harbari Gani, America!

Dr. Ivory A. Toldson declares himself the “myth buster” when it comes to researching the implications of racial biases on the education system serving Black students. He supports this claim by debunking well-worn biases and treading new ground that few within that system approach for solutions.

Black students are the most challenged population in America’s education system. They are examined through a kaleidoscope of negative stereotypes accumulated over 400 years and are fortunate to have a champion like Ivory Toldson, former Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Howard University Professor changing the tides.

In his new position as President and CEO of the Quality Education for Minorities network, Toldson will have the opportunity to expand his research, providing educators across the nation with resources to strengthen minority education goals.

As a newly free agent, Toldson stretches his wings serving as the keynote speaker for the National Education Association Conference on Minorities and Women’s Conference on Racial Justice and Education, Closing Plenary. Toldson understands present research processes and practices are made toxic by societal and personal biases, but he offered jewels enabling educators and administrators to reached beyond these borders with his “10 myth busters” for your edification below. He says,

“…these are what I call the 10 biggest lies that I hear about young, black males. And the reason why it is important to understand that they are lies is because these are often used as the excuse for why certain people in our field aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do for our children.

Number 1 — There are more Black men in prison than in college.

  • In fact, right now there are more than 600,000 more black men in college than in prison.

Number 2 — 50% of Black boys dropout.

  • Most people believe that because of their interpretation of some very popular reports, including the Shot Foundation‘s report with a looked at graduation rates and not dropout rates. You have to understand the difference between graduation rates and dropout rates in order to interpret that report responsibly, but the true dropout rate among black males as characterized by the National Center For Educational Statistics is right around 12%. Now, that is nothing to clap about, but when we look at a room full of Black males and we think that one of them are going to drop out, that is not the type of perspective or mentality we want our teachers to go into the classroom with.

Number 3 — Black boys can’t read.

  • Now, most people are identified as non-readers because of our standardized tests. There are all kinds of reasons why a student who may be able to read functionally won’t do well on a standardized test, and if we don’t understand those reasons and just use these blanket indicators from the NAEP exam to say what percent are not proficient, and then interpret proficiency as their lack of an ability to do the things we need them to do in the school, then we are not going to exercise the best practices when we work with the students.

Number 4 — Black youth of today are more violent than any generation in history.

  • When in fact, crime among Black youth escalated in the 80’s, reached its peak by the mid-1990’s, has been going down since the late-1990’s, and this is generation of youth is the least violent of any generation of youth since before the 1960’s.

Number 5 — One in three Black boys will serve time in prison.

  • In fact, most of the reports that have claimed this have never looked at Blackmales as they exist right now. They use projections. The article that most people cite or the study that most people cite is by someone named Thomas P. Bonczar that did something called the “Double-Decrement Life Table” that looked at the year someone was born and then projected their odds of going to prison. He did this report over 10 years ago, and the only group of cohorts that had a one in three chance were those who were born a year before he wrote the report.
  • So, in other words, he was looking at 2-year-olds and saying they would have a one in three chance of going to prison based on what he thought would be an escalation in the crime rate, not a de-escalation, which is what we actually got.

Number 6 — Black boys are at a natural disadvantage because most are from single-parent households.

  • I have written two articles in this regard, but the summary of those articles is it doesn’t matter the composition of your household. It matters who your parents are. It matters the value they place on education, their engagement with the school, the socialization of their child to the academic environment,and it has nothing to do with who is in their bed.

Number 7 — Black students purposely underachieve because they associate being smart with acting white.

  • Now, there is a lot I can say about that, but I have written an article on it. You can see the evidence. That is not true. And in fact, among Black girls, most of the strongest surveys show that Black girls actually have the highest regard for education than any other group of students out there. And in fact, there is a lesser known function that has been constantly found in the literature, and that is called the “Attitude Achievement Paradox.” That is the fact that in most survey research Black students actually show a higher attitude about the abstract notion of education, but their achievement is not measuring up to that.

Number 8, Black males are avoiding the teaching profession.

  • Again, I have written an article about all of these. You will get the link soon. When you look at young, Black males who are college-educated, teaching is actually the number one profession. So you ask, why is it less than 2%? That is because we are only 5.5% of the population. Of that 5.5%, only 17% have at least a bachelor’s degree, and among those who go on to get their degrees in education — and this is a little-known fact, but it is in the report that I have written — Black males are more likely than any other race group to be promoted out of the classroom into administration.

Number 9 — Black men are underrepresented at institutions of higher education.

  • The nation has 12.7 million Black men who are 18 years and older, and we make up about 5.5% of the adult population, and 5% of those who are in college. Where we are underrepresented is the most competitive colleges. So, those colleges with selective admissions criteria have an underrepresentation of Black students. And those that have open admissions criteria, like community colleges, have an overrepresentation of Black students. And that is largely because a lot of the factors these students talked about earlier, especially a young lady who says she was advised to go to a community college when she clearly had the academic credentials to go to Michigan State.

Finally, Black men are a dying breed.

  • Now, one of the things we have to understand is that when we are in a nation that only refers — only uses the terms breeds, endangered, and species for black men and animals, then that is a problem. But in fact, black men have an increasing representation in the population. Our numbers are growing. White males, their numbers are decreasing. Now that doesn’t mean either one is in danger. But when all we are doing is using these types of terms to deal with humans, then we are dehumanizing them. “

~ Conference on Racial Justice and Education, Closing Plenary (Video)
More on Ivory Toldson Leaving White House Initiative on HBCUs Post – Higher Education

Three Girls Stood In A Line On National TV. What They Do? I Have CHILLS!| Little Things

“Get Lit” – Changing the World, One Word at a Time!

What these girls learned in school is not pretty, but well articulated.


These outspoken, brave girls are part of Get Lit, “the leading nonprofit presenter of literary performance, education, and teen poetry programs in Southern California,” according to their website.

The remarkable young girls were featured on the Queen Latifah Show to perform a slam poetry piece called “Somewhere in America,” and as you will see, their powerful words strike up many emotions in just a few seconds.

via Three Girls Stood In A Line On National TV. What They Do? I Have CHILLS!.

Viewpoint: It’s Easier to Remove a Confederate Flag Than a Racist Teacher | emPower magazine

emPower

After the massacre of 9 people in a South Carolina Black church, media outlets, politicians, and various leaders grasped at available narratives to regain control of a national devastated community. The one prevailing focus has been a piece of cloth designed to represent so much over the generations during and post United States Civil War. Yet behind this rambling distraction, the hashtag #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches, whispers, and noted silences signal that there is a lot to be done and highlights the confusion. Author Andre Perry draws upon this quagmire to note our malaise in allowing control of our education, health, and welfare to slip through our fingers. We leave our children naked and afraid with those who do not respect us and chastise these same youths for disrespecting their communities once they have survived captive racial attacks. But I digress… Perry says it best.

Andrew Perry:

Taking down the vestiges of a segregated past also means weeding out racist teachers from the profession and supplanting them with people who can produce more Bree Newsomes. Climbing the education flagpole also means that we must bring down curricula that ostensibly adjust students to injustice.

schools

In his eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of nine church goers slain in the Charleston church shooting, President Barak Obama said, “Perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask some tough questions about how we can permit so many of our children to languish in poverty or attend dilapidated schools or grow up without prospects for a job or for a career. Perhaps it causes us to examine what we’re doing to cause some of our children to hate.”

via Viewpoint: It’s Easier to Remove a Confederate Flag Than a Racist Teacher – emPower magazine.

Teachers Of All Races Are More Likely To Punish Black Students | HP Blackvoices

How do we as African American’s label our implicit bias? Class.Teachers Of All Races Are More Likely To Punish Black Students

“What we have shown here is that racial disparities in discipline can occur even when black and white students behave in the same manner,” write Jason A. Okonofua and Jennifer L. Eberhardt in their paper, published in April by the journal Psychological Science. (Eberhardt won a 2014 MacArthur “Genius” fellowship for her work on implicit bias.)

It’s a pattern that might provide insight to interpersonal bias in criminal justice. “Just as escalating responses to multiple infractions committed by Black students might feed racial disparities in disciplinary practices in K–12 schooling, so too might escalating responses to multiple infractions committed by black suspects feed racial disparities in the criminal-justice system,” they write.

via Teachers Of All Races Are More Likely To Punish Black Students.

How to Teach Men of Color: Four Critical Conditions | J. Luke Wood | Huff Post Black Voices

Although this article is directed at men of color, the higher education teaching shortlist presented here should be observed beyond a single profile. See references below if you need credentials.

How to Teach Men of Color: Four Critical Conditions | J. Luke Wood

This post is co-authored with Frank Harris III @fharris3 – Associate Professor, Postsecondary Education at San Diego State University; Khalid White @brother_white – Professor, Ethnic Studies and Umoja Program Coordinator at San Jose City College; and Marissa Vasquez-Urias @mvasquez619 – Lecturer, Community College Leadership at San Diego State University

via How to Teach Men of Color: Four Critical Conditions | J. Luke Wood.

Living Black History: The Revolution in Black Studies – YouTube

Published on Apr 14, 2014

Manning Marable describes how African American studies must evolve by the midpoint in this century if it is to be a legitimate and relevant project.

via Living Black History: The Revolution in Black Studies – YouTube.

The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industial Complex – Ruthie Gilmore – YouTube | #OYRchallenge


Professor Ruthie Gilmore speaking at the The Revolution Will Not Be Funded:Beyond The Non-Profit Industrial Complex conference, which was held April 30 – May 1, 2004 at the University of California-Santa Barbara.

via The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industial Complex – Ruthie Gilmore – YouTube.

Scholars Under Attack: American Studies Association to Document Assaults on Academic Freedom | NewBlackMan in Exile | #OYRchallenge

Stay abreast of  Scholars Under Attack’s efforts to investigate and publicize attacks on Academia.  Stay tuned to NewBlackMan (in Exile) for further updates starting with this recent article.  Scholars Under Attack: American Studies Association to Document Assaults on Academic Freedom | NewBlackMan in Exile

“Against a backdrop of rapidly changing economics in higher education, it’s clear that university scholars and students in America are increasingly under attack,” said ASA President Lisa Duggan of New York University. “From elimination of tenure, to the expansion of a precarious class of adjuncts and instructors with neither the benefit of academic freedom nor the basic dignity of a living wage, to a burgeoning cohort of students drowning in debt, these assaults on higher education are part and parcel of political and economic privatization efforts that will have devastating long-term effects.”

The effort, called Scholars Under Attack, will document examples of assaults on academic freedom, program cuts, labor organizing and political protests, and instances of faculty profiling.

via Scholars Under Attack: American Studies Association to Document Assaults on Academic Freedom | NewBlackMan in Exile.

GriotWorks: The Story of Power| #OYRchallenge

GriotWorks of Philadelphia, PA offers cultural competency courses for African American youth and adults. Below is their Griot Sway Youth Music video. These are truly talent young individuals. 
GriotWorks is a signature organization in producing and presenting artistic work based in African American traditions, storytelling and culture. Modeling our work after the role of the “Griot” or “Jeli”, storytellers in West Africa who hold communities together by sharing stories that relay history, educate, honor traditions, share morals and envision a collective future, we aim to serve communities and audiences by doing the same.

via GriotWorks.