Showing posts from February, 2017

Via IG 2.28 on Betsy DeVos, HBCUs, and School Choice

Nahhh, homegirl. Let me school you real quick: 

It is the use of the word, alternative, that gets under my skin. Sure, we had trailblazers like Lila Fenwick, who was the first back woman to graduate from Harvard Law in 1956 but what explains the riots in 1961 - fearlessly led by white students at the University of Georgia? They were determined to keep Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes off of the campus. Hunter and Holmes were suspended until court orders allowed their return!! What about 1962: riots erupted at the University of Mississippi when James Meredith tried to go to school? Why were federal troops sent in by President Kennedy to ensure Meredith could get to class? Two people were killed in the riots! 
1963: Why did President Kennedy have to send troops to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa when Vivian Malone and James Hood tried to attend their first day of class?
Why???? Because HBCUs were not "an alternative" they were our only option. Not designed as a place …

SHEther Lesson Plan

First off, do not play the songs without getting permission from your administrators. They have profanity. 

Once you bypass that.... Try this lesson. I am working on a very special project with my students and using these two songs was the perfect way to give them a head start on argumentative writing. Tomorrow we will dive deeper and analyze quotes from our actual unit. 

Learning Target:
I can write an argumentative response that conveys the theme of both songs. 
1. Use pictures of both artists and introduce them to the students. Though many of the students are familiar with both artists, they may not know the history of Nicki's career - from her days as an underground artist to getting signed with Young Money. The students also may not know about Remy's career with Terror Squad and why she was incarcerated. 
2. Give the students the two theme labels that are the focus of both songs: talent and fame. Ask them to think about which is worth more in their eyes... Allow them to…




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Moderator: Valencia D. Clay
Guest Panelists: Baltimore  Kondwani Fidel, Poet and Activist 
Devin Allen, Photographer 
Kwame Rose, Activist

Turn Off the Phone

focus.Don't get caught up. If you do, love every moment of it. It's nothing that can harm you. Pay attention to no one. You better remember who you are: chosen. Remember how many lovers love you how many lovers love your mind and creativity how many lovers left you to do the work of loving you best. Not to be understood. Not to be seen. Not to be touched. Not to be. Just to. Too easy. Poetry in the arms of the broken stones. Thrown. You are still heavy even with no insides. Your soul made of pure and rare gems. You so different.


One of my former students contacts me once a month to tell me about his progress on the mock-state tests that the school administers. I really wish I could tell him the test does not matter, that it's not about his personal progress at all - it's about the school and how much funding they will get if he does well...
But I can't keep it as real as I want because I know, when he fails, his parents get angry with him. They don't know about the true reasons for standardized exams. All they know is pass and fail. 

Dear Fathers, We Need You

how can i expect her to concentrate when, at 13, all she can focus on is her broken heart? the wound that comes from not having both parents never fully heals, i don't care how much self-care you do - it's the kind of pain that will creep up on you at the most unexpected, uncontrollable times... no way to avoid it and you shouldn't - there's nothing wrong with being emotional, don't let anyone tell you to just "get over it." 
this is exactly why i teach my students who are chronic day-dreamers to write notes to themselves and/or doodle when they can't focus - i am intentional about showing them how to channel their pain into art, instead of drowning as they daze into the waves of whatever painful experience their mind keeps wandering to... they have to learn how to do this while they are young, not when they are grown and far too jaded or bitter. 
i really wish i had it in me to write a theoretical essay, relating the government's genocide on the Bl…

Five Dollars

I bought my first wig today. Actually, I bought two wigs. I love them both and decided I needed them both. Also got some fake Chanel studs. I remember when I was about to drop a few hundred for a pair in Paris but I couldn't bring myself to it because I lose earrings way too much to invest in them. So I'm content with a five dollar pair. Look the same to me, honey. 
Decided to ride my bike over to Zella's. Had my mind on some wings. Garlic. And a little of that good garlic bread they have. It's too cold to stay and read, Manchild in the Promise Land, like I planed. So I put the rest of my wings in a box. Just now, I fixed my scarf and headphones to leave but was stopped by two little white children. A girl and boy. They were running around the restaurant like their parents owned it. 
"So what can we get for $5?" The boy dug into the menu with his wide brown eyes. His hair was unkept and his sneakers were tattered beyond the sole. 
"Well, I can get you a piz…