education

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

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Howard University Commencement 2016

Click on this link for the LIVE presentation. http://player.piksel.com/s/n131asj0

WHUR 96.3 FM in collaboration with WHUT broadcast via live web stream the 2016 Howard University Commencement Convocation with President Barack Obama delivering the keynote address.

Source: Howard University Commencement 2016

#MLKNOW Brings Out Chris Rock, Harry Belafonte, & More To Honor MLK | News One

2016 MLK Now

Blackout for Human Rights, Riverside Church

Click on the Link Below for the performances in the entirety.

Blackout for Human Rights and The Campaign for Black Male Achievement

On the week that would have marked the late leader’s 87th birthday, social justice groups Blackout for Human Rights and The Campaign for Black Male Achievement celebrated Dr. King’s legacy and more with MLK Now at the legendary Riverside Church in Harlem, New York. Monday night’s event highlighted historic speeches by civil rights heroes like MLK, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Sojourner Truth, and Shirley Chisholm, recited by Lin Miranda-Manuel, Andre Holland, Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, and civil rights icon Harry Belafonte.

Source: #MLKNOW Brings Out Chris Rock, Harry Belafonte, & More To Honor MLK | News One

Ferguson and beyond: how a new civil rights movement began – and won’t end | DeRay McKesson | Comment is free | The Guardian

DeRay McKesson, like most of our young protesters, has had to have a thick skin during the past year. He has been the subject of many attacks surely aimed at the #BlackLivesMatter movement and is now referred to by some journalist and agencies as a “professional protester.” Now, Yale University is giving this new civil rights activist and chronicler a platform to show that he is more than any of the disparaging symbols forced on our conscience.

Those that have not supported McKesson, nor championed his energy during the many protests against Black genocide held around the country, may have to rethink all of what they have heard and seen. What lies behind the mask?  
If not for Twitter and Instagram, Missouri officials would have convinced you, one year ago, that we simply did not exist. Or that we were the aggressors, rather than the victims. That we, and not they, were the violent ones.

But social media was our weapon against erasure. It is how many of us first became aware of the protests and how we learned where to go, or what to do when teargassed, or who to trust. We were able to both counter the narrative being spun by officials while connecting with each other in unprecedented ways. Many of us became friends digitally, first. And then we, the protestors, met in person.

Social media allowed us to become our own storytellers. With it, we seized the power of our truth.

Source: Ferguson and beyond: how a new civil rights movement began – and won’t end | DeRay McKesson | Comment is free | The Guardian

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!.

Challenge | Barbershop Books

Harlem has always been the east coast mecca for Black culture and art. I remember my days at Hunter College, trolling the uptown bookstores for that rare author. With this tradition Alvin Irby‘s project, Barbershop Boys, recognizes and meets the challenges that prevent young Black youth from developing a healthy love for books.   

NBC Today: How Barbershop Books Is Getting Young Boys Excited About Reading

In 2013, former kindergarten and first-grade teacher Alvin Irby launched “Barbershop Books,” an initiative that targets young black boys who frequent barbershops and aims to improve their reading comprehension by encouraging them to dive into the world of literature. 

The Barbershop Books website describes its purpose: “To close the reading gap for young black boys by using child-centered, culturally relevant, and high-impact strategies.” According to the White House, 86 percent of black boys are below proficient reading levels by the fourth grade, compared to 58 percent of white boys in the same category. 

 

Barbershop Books

via Challenge | Barbershop Books.

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.

I Support Dr. Umar Johnson’s Mission to Educate Black Boys

MY TRUE SENSE

umar johnson

As some of you may know, acclaimed Pan-African Nationalist brother Dr. Umar Johnson is a brother using his voice and knowledge to push a strong Black agenda for our people. I listen to many of his unapologetic speeches, which I generally support because they echo brother Malcolm’s call for Black people to “Wake up, Clean up, and Stand up!”

Dr. Johnson made a power move recently when he announced his intention to create the Frederick Douglass & Marcus Garvey RBG International Leadership Academy for Black Boys. To facilitate that enormous task, Johnson started a Gofundme campaign to raise $5 million. You can learn more about Dr. Umar’s vision by viewing the video clip below:

Like any Black person who is well-informed, unapologetically Black, and focused on solving problems rather than just talking about them, brother Umar generates a flood of criticism ( I have personally endured this for decades and can strongly…

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UBC student writes 52,438 word architecture dissertation with no punctuation — not everyone loved it | National Post

Patrick Stewart
National Post, Canada

Academics, especially minorities, and pedestrian readers outside of the English discourse find it hard to read or grade papers without their expected punctuations and the language of their discourse. ee cummings and many other poets wrote in the non-punctuated and non-capitalized style denoting resistance against established epistemologies. They were prominent and exuded greatness, yet for the limited academic (yes, some academics are limited) this presents a debacle, especially if within the students discourse that Avante-garde theory presented goes beyond the professor’s academic position. Hard to believe, yet this happens frequently. What is the low-ball response of the academic or even pedestrian didacts? They critique the grammar. They want automatons.

Language theory and studies go beyond the comma and period. The style and narrative inform the message. How is the writer delivering the message? What is the writer trying to convey within the context of style and delivery? Most outside of the field of language do not think beyond the MLA, APA, or Chicago style notation and their pocket guide to *** science. The lazy learn field specific vocabularies and methodologies like a child learning to color within the lines of their coloring book. With a blank page, they are a deer in headlights. That page is quickly thrown to the ground.

We must agree that learning established language specific punctuations and grammar are important before art can begin. The fundamentals are the floor in which to build a solid house. Yet once that house is built, know whose house you are entering. Take the auto industry, for example. It is dangerous for an assembly line worker to deviate from their specific task on the line. The designers, however, must have a firm grasp of the architecture and previous designs in order to create new and more efficient cars. This is the job of the PhD.

Academia claims a social level far beyond the average grunge of automobile manufacturing, ie: Ivory Tower. So the question begs, are you the foreman keeping the worker in his place, or are you an academic nurturing great minds who will hopefully expand your discourse.

“In the introduction to his thesis, [Patrick Stewart] writes that,

“in my defense     my style of writing is not laziness or lack of knowledge of proper usage of the english language     it is a form of grammatical resistance as a deconstructionist     in the manner of many writers     especially american poet ee cummings     he graduated with a master degree in english from harvard university and they called him experimental and innovative     not words likely to be used to describe an indigenous writer who breaks all the rules of writing (the behavioural ethics board at the university of british columbia suggested that i hire an editor as it appeared that i did not know the english language)     times though     they are changing””

 

Times definitely have changed.

via UBC student writes 52,438 word architecture dissertation with no punctuation — not everyone loved it | National Post.

Spelling Race | Colorlines

… the narrative of cultural exceptionalism is misleading and harmful. It’s safe to say that all families place an emphasis on education and want their children to succeed. However, not all families have access to resources and institutions that enable their children to do well. When we rely on culture as the reason for success, we ignore the structural realities that prevent many children of color or poor children from reaching their goals. We also end up placing the onus on families to ensure academic achievement, rather than compelling the public and private sectors to also provide valuable services and benefits that can help all children succeed.

via Spelling Race | Colorlines.