African American professional

Great Explorers – Harlem! | Indiegogo | #OYRchallenge

Middle Passage, New York is running a program, Great Explorers Cultural Arts and Literacy Program , engaging students to research their history in America. This research will be utilized by students to create scripts, dance, and other art & performance medium under the guidance of professional artist, writers, and choreographers.

How can you help? Simple donation in support of this program allows you to aid this progressive program, purchase materials, create strong minds, and attend performances and cast party. A win win! #OYRchallenge

The Great Explorers Cultural Arts and Literacy Program  is run by Middle Passage, Inc., a nonprofit organization working to educate children of color in New York City,  in particular, students who feel alienated in traditional schools with their emphasis on high-stakes testing, a foreign cultural environment and a curriculum that fails to meet the needs of a diverse group of students. 

In all our programs, we emphasize Project Based Learning so that families, teachers and community members can work together to help children develop both critical thinking and problem-solving skills — skills that set them up for a lifetime of success and achievement!

via Great Explorers – Harlem! | Indiegogo.

Way Black In Time. Black Archaeologist Season 3, Episode 1 – YouTube

Published on Oct 6, 2014

A time machine, allowing our hero, Black Archaeologist, to visit great moments in black history, is invented. It’s called , The Way Black In Time Machine.

via Way Black In Time. Black Archaeologist Season 3, Episode 1 – YouTube.

Stop blaming black parents for underachieving kids – The Washington Post | #OYRchallenge

For decades, the fault in education disparities between low-income whites and  African Americans was thrown atop the African American parents and parenting skills. They are not equip to raise children to think critically, engage literature, and calculate, – some said. The some included government officials, teacher’s unions, and even Black officials. Maybe this article will set them straight. African American children

Mayors, teachers unions, and news commentators have boiled down the academic achievement gap between white and black students to one root cause: parents. Even black leaders and barbershop chatter target “lazy parents” for academic failure in their communities, dismissing the complex web of obstacles that assault urban students daily.

via Stop blaming black parents for underachieving kids – The Washington Post.

Black Papers | Amefika Geuka | #OYRchallenge

Black Papers | Amefika Geuka

“Free agency” as applied to the movement for the uplift and advancement of people of African descent is a bad thing, and when all of us are “unrestricted free-agents,” that is the worst possible situation, because we are without a “team,” which is another way of saying – we are without an “organization.” The Most Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey noted that: “The greatest weapon used against the Negro is disorganization;” In this writer’s opinion, by “disorganization” Mr. Garvey referred to lack of effective organization, or lack of organization altogether.

via Black Papers | Amefika Geuka.

Race Matters – Amefika Geuka

Amefika Geuka

Students at Nguzo Saba are gearing up to tell the story of the school using a $125,000 federal grant designed to allow charter schools to share the their highlights with the public and other educators.Charter schools often use the money to publish a book or pay for workshops. But Geuka said he wants his students to tell the story in their own ways — through song, rap, dance, plays and stepping.”Children of African descent often learn affectively,” Geuka said. “You go to a black church, and they’re not just sitting there. They’re tapping their feet, talking back to the preacher.”

via Race Matters – Amefika Geuka.

On Being Seen: An Interview with Claudia Rankine from Ferguson – The New Yorker | #OYRchallenge

Alexandra Schwartz frames her interview with poet Claudia Rankine visiting Ferguson, Mo. Rankine’s visit to Ferguson had nothing to do with Mike Brown, but a promotion of her new book, write Schwartz. It is steep in Langston Hughes’ Let America Be America Again and Zora Neale Hurston blackness. Memorable  piece and will send you running through you collection of Harlem Renaissance poetry.

My favorite lines of this article, “I don’t want to be naïvely optimistic. But I do think that one of the great things about social media today is that we can all see, at least, what it looks like. And hear from everybody. And then you have to decide whether you’re going to be silent or whether you’re going to stand in the corner and let things happen. But at least we know about it.” It pulses and examines us as spectators to a history we can either observe or experience. #OYRchallenge

See the complete rendition of Langston Hughes’ poem below.from The New Yorker

I think it’s interesting because so far the people I’ve spoken with—the black people, the African-Americans that I’ve spoken with—there’s something about the fact that Michael Brown was shot in the head twice that they can’t—that’s the sticking point. Not that the first bullet wasn’t a problem. But the sort of execution-style shooting takes it to this whole other place that starts approaching the language of lynching, and public lynching, and bodies in the street that people are walking around. There’s that video of the police just pacing back and forth and the uncovered body just lying there for hours; where no ambulance, no anything.

via On Being Seen: An Interview with Claudia Rankine from Ferguson – The New Yorker.

Langston Hughes, 1902 – 1967

 Let America be America again.

Let it be the dream it used to be.

Let it be the pioneer on the plain

Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—

Let it be that great strong land of love

Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme

That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty

Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,

But opportunity is real, and life is free,

Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,

Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?

And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,

I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.

I am the red man driven from the land,

I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—

And finding only the same old stupid plan

Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,

Tangled in that ancient endless chain

Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!

Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!

Of work the men! Of take the pay!

Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.

I am the worker sold to the machine.

I am the Negro, servant to you all.

I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—

Hungry yet today despite the dream.

Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!

I am the man who never got ahead,

The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream

In the Old World while still a serf of kings,

Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,

That even yet its mighty daring sings

In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned

That’s made America the land it has become.

O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas

In search of what I meant to be my home—

For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,

And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,

And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came

To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free?  Not me?

Surely not me?  The millions on relief today?

The millions shot down when we strike?

The millions who have nothing for our pay?

For all the dreams we’ve dreamed

And all the songs we’ve sung

And all the hopes we’ve held

And all the flags we’ve hung,

The millions who have nothing for our pay—

Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—

The land that never has been yet—

And yet must be—the land where every man is free.

The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—

Who made America,

Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,

Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,

Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—

The steel of freedom does not stain.

From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,

We must take back our land again,

America!

O, yes,

I say it plain,

America never was America to me,

And yet I swear this oath—

America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,

The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,

We, the people, must redeem

The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.

The mountains and the endless plain—

All, all the stretch of these great green states—

And make America again!

James Meredith on 50 Years of Civil Rights Activism | Witnify

James Meredith and the last conversation.

“I’ve always been at war with a system, not people”. On October 1, 1962, James Meredith became the first African-American student admitted to the University of Mississippi. Meredith’s enrollment sparked protests and riots at the University’s campus, causing President Kennedy to call in troops from the U.S. Marshals, U.S. Army and Mississippi Army National Guard to get things under control. Reflecting on his admission, Meredith states: “My job was finished once I put the President of the United States in the position where he had to use the military might of the United States of America to protect my rights as a citizen. Everything else was somebody else’s job”.

via James Meredith on 50 Years of Civil Rights Activism | Witnify.

Five-Minute Film Festival: Culturally Responsive Teaching | #OYRchallenge

Five-Minute Film Festival: Culturally Responsive Teaching.

The changing racial and cultural landscape of America is certainly a much-discussed topic — some researchers studying U.S. Census data and demographics even say that America could be a “minority majority” country as early as 2050. While the barriers between countries continue to come down, and globalization continues, how can teachers address the needs of students from a variety of cultural backgrounds and upbringings? This collection of videos introduces culturally responsive teaching (CRT), and includes some techniques that you can use to help students from diverse backgrounds succeed together.

Houston council’s Jolanda Jones draws scrutiny over handout – Houston Chronicle | #OYRchallenge

Know Your Rights With The Police by Jolanda Jones

Attorney Jolanda Jones hands out the below card to members of African American communities in hopes that this may save their lives. She also gives educational seminars to requesting communities.

Know Your Rights With The Police

See video of 2014 panel discussion with Deric Muhammad; Jolanda Johnson on the recent former City Councilman Jarvis Johnson’s traffic stop, missing $4,500 in restaurant receipts, and slap in the face.

Houston council’s Jolanda Jones draws scrutiny over handout – Houston Chronicle.

Lincoln’s Back to Africa Solution by HL Gates, Jr. – The Root | #OYRchallenge

The Amazing love African Americans held for former President Abraham Lincoln has often been proven to be misplaced. Little does anyone realize that his first knee-jerk, and heartfelt reaction to African freedom was, “You can always leave.”

This article by Henry Louis Gates, Jr revisits the events of surrounding Lincoln’s meeting with African American delegates.

Amazing Fact About the Negro No. 92: When President Abraham Lincoln met with free black leaders in 1862, what did he propose?Today marks the anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s “shot heard ’round the world.” I’m referring, of course, to the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation he fired off from the White House on Sept. 22, 1862, five days after the real bullets had been fired 70 miles outside of Washington, D.C., at the Battle of Antietam then and now the bloodiest day in American history, with close to 23,000 casualties. 

What little Union victory there was in Gen. Robert E. Lee’s withdrawal from Maryland gave Lincoln the opening he needed to issue the Confederacy his ultimatum: If it remained in a state of rebellion come Jan. 1, 1863, he would sign an executive order rendering “all” of its “slaves … then, thenceforward, and forever free.”

Read more at:  Lincoln’s Back to Africa Solution – The Root.