Baba Malcolm

I have never missed a person, as much as I miss Malcolm. Yeah, that’s crazy because I was born many years after he was assassinated. But his impact on my identity, my ideology, on my being is unmatched.

I think I’m going to go to his grave site on Sunday. Lay some flowers, burn some Frankincense and Myrrh and just talk to him. That feels like what I need right now.

Celebrating Black Poetry During National Poetry Month

“The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even but a millimeter the way people look at reality, then you can change it.” James Baldwin

As educators, our jobs are to do exactly what Baldwin mentions above, shift the way our students view the reality around them. In order to do so I believe it’s necessary to not just use the poets mentioned above or some from their era but also elevate poets like those featured on Def Poetry Jam within the classroom. There are obviously dozens of Slam Poets featured on the now historical HBO series but some of my favorites to use in class are the following:

Enough Reform

As Erin said, we aren’t talking race when we’re talking education and more over we’re not talking about the fact that children of enslaved ancestors need a different education than the children of the slave master.

I didn’t coin that phrase, I am borrowing from Brian and Lurie Favors but I feel that ish on a spiritual level.

I keep on reminding people that there is no such thing as neutrality in education.

Marielle Franco: Black, Lesbian, Human Rights Activist and murdered at 38.

Franco, was unapologetic in her quest to create a just and equitable world for Black people, poor people, marginalized people.
I’m sure she was afraid.
It would be impossible for her not to be.
I’m sure her loved ones, feared for her safety.
In a place where, the police are the real terrorists, how could they not fear for her?
I’m sure she knew her time would soon come to an end.
How could anyone who was dedicated to ending anti black racism not be prepared for their death…their murder.

Clare-Hope Ashitey: Professional Black Girl

I totally get where they are coming from. What I see in her is a humanity that Black actresses aren’t normally allowed to portray. Women who may have flaws but at the same time are in constant progression and development. I definitely want to see strong Black female characters on shows, but I don’t want the portrayal of that strength to be devoid of their humanity, stripped of their right to be diverse, complex and flawed.

Who Gon’ Stop Her, Huh?

This award is important for a few reasons:

It honors someone who is moving like a freight train through Hollywood.
The award is named after a song by Jay-Z and pre-sunken place, Kanye.
I made it up and it’s dope.
Because it’s Women’s History Month, this award is recognizing another Black woman favorite of mine and apparently everyone else. Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room or should I say, the last Black unicorn in the room.

Sorry, These Seats are Reserved for Black Women

I think it would be healthy to end Black history month with a lunch and learn at jobs across the country. On February 28th, there should be a fishbowl activity where Black folks and other people of color sit in the inner circle while White folks sit on the outer circle and just listen for a full hour about the feelings and experiences that we have had just working in their institutions (and this obviously wouldn’t be enough time.) This needs to happen without any backlash from HR and without interruption.