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Showing posts from May, 2017

Runners

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9:45AM

After reading Blood Child, read the Parable of the Sower or Kindred. Octavia Butler is one of my all time favorites. Glad you finally met her. 
You were in my dream last night. This happens a lot but I usually ignore it. It's normal. Just like the way I think of you. I like to peek at your pictures and I read your words in the moments that I miss what we had. 
Whenever I wake up from a dream of you, I smile but that's all. I don't write to you like I used to, like I'm doing now. I don't unblock your number so that I may call you. I know you are where you need to be and I am where I need to be and respectfully we are no longer in the same place for a reason. 
When you come to my dreams, I know it's your soul traveling to visit me. The dreams are usually the same. We are on the run. It's very hasty. Sometimes scary but you are always there and we are always moving to whatever the destination is together. There's always something attempting to separate …

Teaching as Activism with Alex Elle

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Alex and I talked about everything from self-healing to mental illness to being "woke" on her podcast: Hey, Girl. Listen in and then binge the other episodes!  





Violent Games

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Maybe about 15 minutes went by when a couple of women who lived in the neighborhood ran over to G and I, screaming, "DEY OUT HERE FIGHTIN..." It was so hot Friday morning. Wasn't even 9AM yet. Nice enough to take my girls outside but too hot to sit anywhere but under the shade. We did a quick initiative, shared our highs of the week. Shortly after, I told them to be free and enjoy the park. Most of them ran off together, a few of the introverts moseyed over to the broken swing set. 
From my bench, I could see most of the girls and trusted that they would play and talk and chill, thinking that's what 5th grade girls do with their free time, whether they are inside or out. 
I was wrong. 
Maybe about 15 minutes went by when a couple of women who lived in the neighborhood ran over to G and I, screaming, "DEY OUT HERE FIGHTIN' AND YALL TEACHERS [heavy emphasis on teachers] AINT EEM WATCHIN' DEM!" By the time we looked up, all the girls were running from the …

Painting

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when I got the call that you lost your apartment and have been forced to stay in a shelter I had no reaction no melt down no tears just numbed in motion as I walked home under salmon clouds and birdful trees and it was thundering and lightening but not raining and the words yo mama lost her 'partment she in a sheltah literally went in one ear and out of the other until I saw this picture of you from 1968 and it made me wonder what your life would be like today if crack never hit Harlem in the 80s and they said you said you was moving to Alabama and you didn't care if they took everything from you that you was getting to Alabama nobody could stop you and I wondered which one of the voices in your head moved from 2 to 3D making its way outside of you to lead a new life for you but I didn't feel bad that your demons were climbing out of you but this is different for me because before my own diagnoses everything that happened to you used to feel like it was happening to me too…

9:26PM on MLK

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Suppressed my anger toward the police officer that killed Jordan Edwards all day. Literally, felt like I was the ONLY person who cared. Like the death of black children by the hands of police is so regular that we don't even think twice about it. Despite the fact that I taught my lesson about it today, I still felt no relief. I am really mad and I took my anger out on one of my elders: the manager at the dollar general. I got pissed off when she asked me for my service dog card because I already showed it to her last time. "Please just hold the dog in your arms ma'am." "Where else am I going to put him?" I could've just said okay but my anger spoke for me. "Well you know some people like to let they dogs walk on the floor in stores." She was so patient with me and all I could say was, "No. I'm not putting him down, it's dirty in here." "Lord, please give me the stength!!" She said as she walked away from me. I walke…

Joey Badazz in the Classroom

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This is exactly how I teach my close-reading lessons with short stories. It can be done with song lyrics to encourage student engagement and it's just really great practice for them! Try it and let me know how it goes!
1. Play the song "Amerikkkan Idol" by Joey Bad-A$$ (Modify for students by printing the lyrics for them to read along. This is helpful for students who may need visual accommodations.)
2. After listening once, have students generate a list of theme labels with a partner or at their table groups (if your students work in cooperative groups).  Call on students to share out and anchor the list on the board or on chart paper (which ever you prefer). 
3. Play the song again. This time, allow all students to close-read and annotate the lyrics. This will help them clear misconceptions. 
4. Have students reevaluate their lists and cross out words that do not depict the themes of the song. Erase the words off of the board that they suggest. 
5. Students should answer t…

Neo Civil Rights and a Nigerian

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His side part and almondie eyes were that gritty-attractive that every 'round the way girl falls for...  ***
This morning, I woke up craving a donut from 7-11. I decided I would take Washington to work instead of Pratt. It would be a longer way but the donut was worth it. 
Three elder Black women were sharing purple hues of laughter in the carry-out spot next to 7-11. I could see them from the glass window. I never knew that spot was open so early in the morning. I couldn't stop myself from going in and getting an egg and cheese... 
"These kids today too damn grown. They don't care about nothin' but them damn phones! Make you wan' smack they mommas!"
"And where they daddys?"
"Girl! Same place our daddy was! In jail when he was sober and in the streets when he was high!" 
Laughter echoed throughout the carry out, as if they were in a world all by themselves. A shared gesture of acceptance, not bitterness, like my grandmother, who scoffs at the…