While yes, technically, legal segregation is over, New York City remains one of the most segregated school systems in America. In fact, we are more segregated today than schools were during the start of the integration movement. We also have a rampantly racist President in office who recently referred to Haiti, El Salvador and all the countries in Africa as “shithole”, but we can sit wherever we want on a bus so, you know, everything is alright and Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream has come to fruition.
If you want to get all metaphysical and ish, changing your world, your reality, your habits, yourself is in fact changing the world, because we are all connected.
At our second session of our Woke Cypha we discussed the story of Kalief Browder. We intentionally took his story and put our teachers through a learning experience intended to evoke pain, anger, and frustration.
We wanted to embody the experience of taking pain and turning it into power.
We wanted to show them that WE are alchemists.
So, I swallowed those tears before returning to the sun shine. But what I could never swallow was my new nickname that followed me for the rest of my time living on that block, every time we walked to the train and every time I got on the cheese bus I heard the kids singing, African or Haitian Booty Scratcher.
Which had me fucked up.
Because, again, I was Antiguan.
The teacher begins to show me some student work and excitedly shows me one of her students assignment where the student talks about toxic femininity.
My mind is racing with all kinds of thoughts.
In my head: Oh shit some little black girl woke asf in here and recognizes that white women feminism is the epitome of toxic femininity because they practice a feminism that hates men (even though white men are oppressive asf) and isn’t intersectional and lots of times uses white supremacy to oppress women of color and poor women. I want to meet this girl and sit in on this class and revel in the awakening of the youth.
And in order for you (and us) to meet the state and administrative demands of working in a school we must be very clear about our values: The Nguzo Saba.
I grew up hearing, “African Americans are lazy and privileged” while “Africans & Caribbean people are hardworking, resilient.”
Welcome to Part 1 of CREAD’s Moving the Culture Podcast: Trying to be a Revolutionary: Reflections on Angela Davis and Michelle Alexander.