Books

Ta-Nehisi Coates and a Generation Waking Up – The New Yorker

Brit Bennett’s review of “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, for The New Yorker magazine, is the best I have read so far. Bennett writes from an African American Feminist perspective drawing clean lines between what it means to be black and female in America. You can expect classy and exact references examining the relationship of black authors to black women, the black father to his son, and their relationship within the scope of institutional racism.

My favorite paragraph from Bennett is as follows:

 As a child, I once heard that slavery was worse for black men than black women, because black men were pained by their inability to protect the women they loved. In this retelling, black women’s pain is incidental. The systemic, relentless rape that black women endured is only meaningful because of how it hurt black men. I believed this for a time, in deference to the black elder who told me, until I realized that trauma is not a competition, that there is no better or worse; there is only pain, and a woman’s pain is equally worthy of mourning.T. Coates|New Yorker Mag 2015

Bennett’s piece opens:

The night Trayvon Martin’s killer walked free, I stood outside a Los Angeles movie theater, in line to watch “Fruitvale Station.” Maybe I would’ve picked a different movie had I foreseen the verdict, but I was young and hopeful, and I believed that someone would be held accountable for snuffing out a seventeen-year-old’s life. Instead, I blinked back tears as a well-meaning white woman approached—she couldn’t believe that verdict, she said, the injustice of it all. I didn’t want to hear her disappointment. I didn’t want to be a conduit for her guilt. I wanted to understand how a jury could determine that a child’s unarmed black body posed more of a threat than a grown man with a gun.

via Ta-Nehisi Coates and a Generation Waking Up – The New Yorker.

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7 Ways to Avoid Being Brainwashed by White Supremacy | Atlanta Blackstar

Father and son

Educate Yourself

When exercising dominion over another group, the white power structure will exert control over three branches of society: the education system, law enforcement and religion. Control is extended over the institutions which shape the human mind, body and spirit. Of course you must submit to some method of formalized education, but while you’re doing so, understand that you are being fed the system’s propaganda, giving people control over your minds whose best interest is to keep you ignorant, docile and complacent. So you must step outside the system and create your own curriculum.

via 7 Ways to Avoid Being Brainwashed by White Supremacy|Atlanta Blackstar.

Why We Can’t Wait (Signet Classics): Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. | #OYRchallenge

Why We Can’t Wait by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

mlkwhywait

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

“Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, ‘Wait.’ But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim…when you see the vast majority of twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky…when you take a cross-country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you…when…your wife and mother are never given the respected title ‘Mrs.’…when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of ‘nobodiness’—then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair.”

Why We Can’t Wait 

Martin Luther King’s Classic Exploration of the events and forces behind the Civil Rights Movement

We should all be feminists: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at TEDxEuston – YouTube

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the self-proclaimed Happy African Feminist, discusses the scope of feminism in the modern world. In her delightful style of comedic and educating insights, Adichie explains how we stunt the growth of our men in their humanity, especially towards women. Men have to be hard, she posits, resulting in their weakness. Her commentary on culture, sex, rape, marriage, and pretending is priceless in the value of scholarship.
Adichie follows up this essay in her book by the same title, We Should All be Feminists.

We should all be feminists: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at TEDxEuston – YouTube.

We feminist Adichie

The Society of Fugitives – James Forman Jr. – The Atlantic

James Forman Jr’s The Society of Fugitives is an excellent and comprehensive review of Alice Goffman’s “On the Run: Wanted Men in a Philadelphia Ghetto.”  Forman compares and contrast other social research and studies to the disparaging commentary of Goffman’s character observations in her study of inner city men. Her characterizations represent a minute portion of population, yet Goffman assumes her chosen samples as a monolith of inner city life on the Philadelphia streets.

The best of social researchers reach a crevice they understand is too large for them to cross. The wise turn away and find another science project, yet some, already invested in weeks of research preparations and a finite amount of time per semester plod on to the demise of their subjects. This may be one of those times. The Society of Fugitives - James Forman Jr. - The Atlantic

Goffman was a sociology major, but her coursework hadn’t prepared her for the phenomenon she was witnessing. The situation of men like Mike and his friends had not figured prominently in previous ethnographies of the inner city. Whereas Anderson and others had written about young men who were continually suspected by the police but who had some chance of walking free after a street stop, the men Goffman studied were actually wanted. If the police were to stop them and discover their fugitive status, they would be taken into custody. These men also risked arrest for noncriminal activity that violated their probation or parole—staying out past curfew, for instance, or visiting a part of town where they weren’t allowed to be. As a result, they lived their lives on the run.

via The Society of Fugitives – James Forman Jr. – The Atlantic.

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.

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.

‘The Teacher Wars’ Author Talks Race and Gender in American Education – COLORLINES | #OYRchallenge

Scholars interested in this book may also want to research the 1960s and 70s NY policy; “live in your work community,” where NY police and teachers are still given incentives on home purchases and other amenities within the inner city communities where they are employed. This was hoped to address the timely complaint by African American community leaders that African American communities should be served by teachers and police officers of their culture. It was partially successful. Also, look up the JDL response through Brooklyn’s Union College. This is one history, Dana Goldstein would not, could not dare include in Her history. Interesting story regardless.Race and Education

What surprised you most about the history of race and education?One of the really big things that surprised me was that the roots of this “no excuses” reform ideology that is so popular today was actually in black educational theories and ideas dating back to the 19th century. We often mischaracterize those movements today as something that white people are imposing on communities of color. Yet what I found is that in the ideas of Anna Julia Cooper, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois—figures who disagreed with each other on a lot of things and had a fertile debate—[valued] “no excuses,” strict discipline and academic rigor. Those things were, to a certain extent, areas of agreement among black educational leaders.You can quite easily trace how the founders of the “no excuses” movement, for example the founders of the KIPP network of charter schools, Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin [who are both white], were explicitly influenced by a female black teacher who they observed using these “no excuses” strategies. And there is a translation process that happens there, where this set of ideas of was mostly being used by teachers of color with children of color. Now a multi-racial group of teachers is using these strategies. When someone from your community says to you, “Look, there are no excuses,” that is very different from when someone from outside your community is telling you “no excuses.” Although these are very old ideas, what they mean in practice today is has changed.

via ‘The Teacher Wars’ Author Talks Race and Gender in American Education – COLORLINES.

#OYRchallenge

Alain Locke, Whose Ashes Were Found In University Archives, Is Buried : Code Switch : NPR

Alain Locke

Alain Locke, September 13, 1885 – June 9, 1954

I became an official devotee of Africa American sociology and literature after reading Alain Locke’s “The New Negro.” Studying our great post-slavery philosophers, artists, and writers, in no way prepared me for this text. They all asked questions, stumbled about with fear, not quite grasping the ground they stood. Locke provided answers to who they were in the moment. They were no longer the offspring of slaves but men and women established in their humanity and history beyond race.

Funeral - Alain Locke

[Alain] Locke compiled many of the answers in an anthology called The New Negro. Published in 1925, it was an instant success and included work by Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes and W.E.B. Du Bois.”This book is the standard-bearer for how the 20th century African-American is going to see themselves,” Jones says. “This volume is dedicated to the younger generation: Oh rise, shine, for thy light is a coming.”

via Alain Locke, Whose Ashes Were Found In University Archives, Is Buried : Code Switch : NPR.

How to Start a Homeschool Co-op for Black Homeschoolers. | #OYRchallenge

Homeschooling or private education has been thrown negative bones in this century. Yet, I remember when it was the hopes of many for their children to receive a healthy private education. While growing up in the 1960’s New York City, private education was sought after by wealthy and middle-class families. Even some poor families did without so that their children could receive premium educations. The news of protesters advocating for public education often uncovers connections to teachers unions and government organizations. Few show any sincerity, besides platitudes, for the general welfare of our African children. The statistics and news reports of violence against our children while in their care supports this. Disparaging slurs and rehearsed talking points on African American progress, news, and education further highlights the need for African American children to be educated in an African-friendly environment.  And I say this because????

Dr. Samori Camara invests in socializing African children within their culture, with the current advancements in the American society. He also recognizes the necessity for them to utilize the talents of those of like minds in the rudimentary subject matters and expanded materials. This initiative is not just for African children; it is done all over the world, by many communities, ethnicities, and religions. We still live in a system where the wealthy may choose how and by who their children will be educated, yet the poor are hounded when trying to privately educate their children. Poverty imprisons our children to learn from those who do not respect or appreciate us.

Today, we are urged by teacher’s unions, who are by-the-way champions of race discrimination in public schools, to support public education. Data is collected on failed private entities, such as some Charter Schools, to support their ragged claims to the ignorant that public education is best for our children. Not so. Our inner city public schools are a mess of calculations, re-designations, social manipulations, and traps to keep our African American communities helpless and hopeless.

Private education is best for the entire family and community. Parents and other involved adults are now responsible to forward their own education in order to supply their students and children with the most current and diverse education available, while fostering positive images of their culture and communities. Teachers are family members, friends, and local talent. Families are not sending their children off to robotics class to learn “how to work for someone else,” but are learning to seek out and appreciate their own talents within their communities.

Families I encounter on trips to libraries, seminars, workshops, and entertainment venues, take these opportunities to expand their children’s education. Education is a life experience, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. You pay your principal, therefore he or she listens to your concerns. If you are homeschooling, concerns are addressed within your community. Your family’s life journey does not end on Friday at 3:00 pm. So why should its education begin with someone else. #OYRchallenge

Education for Liberation: The Top 20 Questions and Answers for Black Homeschoolers by Dr. Samori Camara Get it here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BEL8IK8

Afrikan centered homeschooling is on the rise, but we should definitely not do it alone. A cooperative can help with your Black homeschool endeavors. In the video, I cover some of the benefits. They are many more. Watch, share, subscribe.

Revolutionary Love,

Dr. Samori Camara