What’s good family. I’m happy as hell to be back with y’all after that two weeks off. So happy that I had to bust out that sturdy Mase “Welcome Back” gif on y’all on this throwback Thursday.
The other day during a conversation with my colleague Afua or Fwaaaaa as I call her and she asked me, “what were my top five growth moments for the year?”
My spirit guided me to say what I know in my heart to be true; which was:
- I became a more free and happy person. I got back to the business of living for myself and prioritizing my happiness as a way to gain the proper confidence to BE.
- In becoming happier and more assured in myself, I became an even greater dad. I was always doing a good job I suppose, but this year I really grew to understand the beauty and meaning my daughter gives to my life.
- My work, and the true nature of what it means to do work for liberation, has directed me to my true purpose and calling in life. I’ve grown my sociopolitical consciousness tenfold, and deepened my connection with the larger community around me. Doing this liberating work has help me put things in proper perspective.
- I’ve grown as a friend. A brother. A son. A lover. An uncle. Just as a man overall. Ive learned that loving people openly and honestly is a true reflection of what it means to love myself.
- Most importantly, I’ve grown to understand that the life I lived was simply that, a thing of the past. That I can be all of me in all of my glory, and stand tall everyday with my head held high. With no reservations about who I am.
These five points mean everything to me, and have helped affirm all of the work that I’ve been putting in and ways I’ve grown this year; because as street prophet Rakim stated in his rhyme, “constant elevation causes expansion.”
So you already know, I’m going to ask you to think about your “top five growth moments of the last school year?” And more importantly, what do you intend to do with all that growth? (You can drop your answers in the comments. At least hit me with one!)
In doing this work if we’re not elevating our minds and our beliefs then we not expanding our practices.
I gotta give credit where it’s due, that Rakim line came into my world through mister move the culture himself, Jay Z.
So, I’m gonna just assume that y’all done dug into both parts of Jay Z aka Shawn Carter’s culture shifting interview on Tidal’s Rap Radar, in which he discusses the inspiration for his poignant and personal 13th studio album 4:44; an album that CREAD dug into for a whole week back when it dropped.
My biggest take away from the interview: We are the culture in its purest form.
We are its inspiration. Its muse. Its life force. And it’s on us to move beyond just being the culture and understand our power, position, and role in MOVING THE CULTURE FORWARD.
His rare interview left me ripe with questions and made me want to do work for the CULTURE.
Today you’re back in the classroom with new students ready for a new year.
Some of you spent the summer traveling and soaking up sun.
Some of you worked summer school.
All of us have been witness to everything happening in our society and we’re rightfully worried about the state of our country and our own personal well being. We are all tasked with playing our part, in leading America out of White supremacy and into a brighter day for all of its citizens be they:
- Gender nonconforming,
All of us are responsible for moving the culture.
Because, honestly we in danger y’all.
And as we start this school year I wanna know:
- How do you define culture,
- How are you establishing culture in your classroom spaces,
- How are you responding to it,
- How are you affirming it and
- How are you moving culture forward?
And after you answer these questions, what you GONNA DO? Because our current American culture, isn’t safe for anyone. And you know if it ain’t safe for White people then the rest of us are shit out of luck.
In the last two days since we’ve returned to work, hell is still breaking loose:
Hurricane Irma is making her way through the Caribbean as we speak.
We have an administration hell bent on destroying the ideals this country was founded on, by rescinding the Deferred Action for Child Arrival program (DACA.) This program created through the Obama administration was set in place to allow undocumented children brought here by their parents to come out of the shadows and work, go to school, and fight in the military.
We got a president ready to condemn the babies when they aren’t responsible of a crime or any wrong doing. The babies Darth Vader? Really?
Those babies are our kids, our young dreamers, who occupy our classrooms. What culture are we creating for our undocumented kids and their families who before this enjoyed a level of security and safety but, who now may be fearful to even step into a school building.
What are we gonna do? Cause I know we ain’t gonna take this lying down? We may not be able to affect Trump right this minute but we can affect the lives of the 1 Million students in NYC.
What’s the culture of our classrooms, and how are we making sure it’s inclusive of all of our students and their families? Because we are all under attack, the uncertainty and anxiety that we adults feel, imagine how our students feel and keep that central to everything you do.
Today is the first day back. Remember that culture is king and right now American culture is a cruel king, indeed.
All year the CREAD team will be creating content and resources, to aide in the development of a decolonized teaching force that de-centers Whiteness, White privilege, White supremacy, and the standardization of Whiteness in every way.
We grinding!!! All to move the CULTURE FORWARD.
Hold it down good people!