Black teachers are powerful and not simply because a body of empirical evidence says so. It’s because for many of us, if not all of us, our passion for our people fuels our pedagogy. I realized this when I became a teacher. This is not to brag or boast but it is to say that my students leaned on me to teach them truth (history) as well as to help them interpret living in dark skin in a white society. I welcomed the role because I sought to provide my student what I didn’t have.

When States Take Over School Districts, the Community Loses

State takeovers of struggling school districts have always been controversial, and more states are getting out of the business of directly running local schools. But in Camden, New Jersey, the state takeover of the city’s schools shows that not everyone is ready to abandon this vestige of the education reform movement. ImpactED, an evaluation and research center at the University of Pennsylvania, recently released a report finding that Camden public school students in grades three-to-eight have

Camden residents hear they don’t care about their city, but that’s never been true | Opinion

A few weeks ago, I watched a video on Facebook posted by a community activist and educator highlighting the scene at the Seventh and Clinton Street Park in Camden. What she saw was alarming: drug paraphernalia and drug use happening alongside children playing, at daytime, and in the full view of police. This activist rightly called out that such a scene isn’t tolerated in the suburbs, and rightly asked: Why is it tolerated in Camden? She declared at that moment, as others had as well, “not in my park."

Yeah, But What Do Black and Brown Teachers Have to Say?

Much of the rhetoric concerning Critical Race Theory (CRT) has come from politicians and parents, many who are white, Missouri serving as an example of that. Educators have offered some commentary as well. Nine out of ten teachers never taught CRT in their classrooms. Thankfully, both the National Educational Association and the American Federation of Teachers both pledged to defend teachers facing legal action for teaching CRT or anything “related” to it. I say “related” because the 1619 Project

An Educator In A System Of Oppression Is Either A Revolutionary Or An Oppressor

Of all our studies, history is best qualified to reward our research. –Malcolm X So, you want to teach the REAL history… You’re a teacher; maybe a history or a literature teacher. You could even be a math or science teacher. You may not be as verse in all the history and all the terminology. Truth is, you didn’t learn much other than white supremacy propaganda during your formal education. But you’ve gotten a taste of truth. You’ve heard the terms white supremacy, systemic racism, and institutional

The Black Male Messiah In Our Schools

Just the other day I saw a tweet that cautioned Black folks to divest from the “Black Male Educator as the Messiah” myth in education and it got me thinking; is there a messiah myth about Black male educators in education circles? The answer depends on who you ask. I can say from personally experience that my Black-maleness was welcomed in schools by both Black and white educators alike, but for different reasons. Black educators welcomed my presence because my presence could serve as another

Teaching Black History Year-Round Requires Rigorous Sight

Dr. Carter G. Woodson is best known for his creation of Negro History Week, which became Black History Month. The genius of his creation was in his desire for it to culminate in a weeklong celebration after a year of learning about the accomplishments of Black people. Negro History Week was never meant to be a one-off acknowledgment, recognition, and celebration of Black history. It was meant to serve as a short period for students to display what they’d learned about the history of Black peopl

Educational Leadership from a CRT Lens

Much of the outrage against Critical Race Theory being taught in schools across the United States is misguided. Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a concept that asserts that historical patterns of racism are ingrained in law and other modern institutions, and that the legacies of slavery, segregation and Jim Crow still create an uneven playing field for Black people and other people of color. The theory is supported by a ton of research and is mainly taught in higher educational institutions, law

America, You Can’t Ban The Truth… No Matter How Hard You Try

“If one managed to change the curriculum in all the schools so that Negroes learned more about themselves and their real contributions to this culture, you would be liberating not only Negroes, you’ll be liberating white people who know nothing about their own history.” –James Baldwin Paulo Freire said in his classic work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, that the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed is to liberate themselves and their oppressors. No doubt, Black people are an oppres

Returning To Normal… With All Deliberate Speed?

Certainly, the masses of Americans are ready to return to “normal.” By normal I mean a return to engaging in all the activities and indulgences of life. An unavoidable truth is that for “normal” to return – activities that serve one or both functions of generating income and/or entertaining – young people must return to school. The Coronavirus pandemic is obviously why we’re far from normal, but is normal our preferred destination? For many Black students, normal wasn’t all that great. Public

No Respecter of Black Bodies: Neither the Living or the Dead

One of my favorite stories is Homer’s Iliad. Within are stories within a story. One involves the heroes Achilles and Hector. Both were the alphas of their sides and dedicated to meet on the battlefield. Hector believed he bested Achilles but it was actually Patroclus, Achilles cousin, dressed in Achilles armor that Hector killed. Achilles, by himself, traveled to Troy to fight Hector to avenge the death of his cousin… and he did. After he killed Hector, he took his remains with him – as insult

Rann Miller: Why All the Fuss? Critical Race Theory Witch Hunt Reaches New Lows

Roughly 12 states are working to or have actually band critical race theory from being taught in schools. The reality is that critical race theory isn’t being taught in schools. Critical Race Theory is a concept generally taught in higher education spaces whether it be undergraduate, graduate or law school. The reality is, that conservative politicians can tolerate “learning” Black history, so long as it is without the analysis that comes with critical inquiry. When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis s

Black Principals: A Bridge for Black Teachers

The research is clear on the impact of Black teachers on Black student achievement. Black students who have had at least one Black teacher are more likely to graduate from high school, attend college and are less likely to drop out of school. Black students are also less likely to be disciplined at the hands of a Black teacher. But what about Black principals; what does the research say about their impact on Black students? A recently released report may provide us with some new insights. A Wa

Teaching Juneteenth in schools is crucial amid debates about how to tackle U.S. history | Opinion

The month of June is very important in Black history. Mother Bethel AME was founded in Philadelphia on June 10, 1794, by the Rev. Richard Allen. June is also Black Music Month, thanks to Philadelphia’s own Kenny Gamble and the Black Music Association in 1979. But maybe most important of all Black history commemorations this month is Juneteenth. Juneteenth marks the occasion of June 19, 1865, when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce all enslaved peoples were free upon the surr

Why The Fight Against Critical Race Theory is Rooted In America History

The masses of teachers aren’t teaching Critical Race Theory. Roughly 80% of teachers in the United States are white – I can almost guarantee you that they’re not teaching Critical Race Theory. Many of them are uncomfortable teaching about enslavement, do you think they’d be comfortable, let alone knowledgeable, enough to teach Critical Race Theory? The masses of individuals against the teaching of Critical Race Theory in schools are largely white and conservative politically and more than likel

The Consciousness of the Complicit Racist

To understand the attacks on Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the form of legislation to make teaching CRT in schools illegal, as well as attacks on systemic racism, white supremacy, historical truths taught in schools about these things, don’t get caught up on the legislators. We know who and what they are. Rather, put your attention on their constituents; white folks who appear friendly but remain ignorant. They are satisfied with maintaining the status quo of their place in society.

Recommendations for Ridding a Racist Hiding in Plain Sight

The insurrection of January 6, 2021 was a dark day in our nation’s history. What makes it even darker is that public servants took part in the dysfunction. In attendance that day were police officers, firefighters, and even educators among our industry. As it pertains to leaders in these industries, I applaud them for investigating and potentially removing these individuals. But these leaders should be equally (or more) concerned with rooting out the racists hiding in plain sight in offices,

Are You Committed To Marginalize Instead Of Cultivate The Black Mind?

When it comes to Black students, often overemphasized is both young men and young women are overly disciplined, and disproportionately so. The overrepresentation of Black students regarding school discipline rates is important to highlight so that it can be corrected. However, less commentary concerns the lack of honoring and cultivating the Black mind. Tina Lawson, like all parents, desires the best education for her children. To that end, Ms. Lawson is an advocate for her three children

Achieving Racial Justice in the Classroom through Inquiry

Curiosity is oftentimes the beginning of learning. When we’re curious, we begin to ask questions. Our questions prompt us to investigate, and our investigations lead to a destination. Sometimes, the destination leads us to a firm conclusion that satisfies our curiosity by answering our original (or newly formed) questions. But sometimes, the destination we reach only offers us more questions. Maybe someone is curious about why some people can afford to live in big expensive houses and others
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