Showing posts from June, 2017

Finished Book List

Yesterday was my little birthday. These are all of the books I finished from June 19, 2016 to June 19, 2017. My top 3 are "Homegoing" "Parable of the Sower" and "Women Who Run with Wolves." . . Full List:
The End of Average - Todd Rose Tell My Horse - Zora Neale Hurston If They Come in the Morning - Angela Davis,  Raw Wounds - Kondwani Fidel Go Tell it On the Mountain - James Baldwin The End of Imagination - Arundhati Roy How Capitalism Underdeveloped America - M. M. Quiet - Susan Cain The Color Complex - Russell-Cole, et. al. The Mis-Education of the Negro - Woodson The Hate You Give - Angie Thomas So Sad Today - Melissa Broder Feminism without Borders - C.T. Mohanty Borderlands - Gloria Anzaldia Open Veins of Latin America - Eduardo Galeano Freedom is a Constant Struggle - Angela Davis Love, Freedom, and Aloneness - Osho The Piano Lesson - August Wilson The Black Notebooks - Toi Derricotte Salvation - bell hooks Killing Rage - bell hooks When the Welfare People Come - Do…

Where are the White Kids?

An Excerpt from 
Broken Keys Don't Unlock Doors
available on Amazon now! By 14 year old, Janiyah Quick 

What makes me so different? Is my skin the reason I don't get an equal education? Why do we as black people lack education? Have you ever wondered why the schools in the "hood" barely had anything from teachers down to school supplies and those county schools (white schools) have almost everything? Better teachers, brand-new books etc., ect. Well, I'm here to tell you. 
Segregation was originally thought to be ended in 1896 with the case of Plessy v. Ferguson but it didn’t take Black people too much time to realize the equality wasn't actually "equal.” The things they got, compared to whites, were either low quality, underfunded, or sometimes both. 
Back in 1951, there were thirteen parents who filed a lawsuit against the Board of Education on behalf of their twenty children. The Board of Education in their districts separated elementary schools under the Pl…

We. Not Them.

A typical case of unconscious mental slavery:

A former student, who is currently a sophomore in high school, asked me if I considered teaching high school and the answer was no, you just miss me. His response (in the grey above) was a mistake that far too many of us make without even recognizing how we perpetuate a culture of assimilation and division. This is too important: do not allow your students to separate themselves from their peers in this way. It's condescending and will never birth a fruit of change. There will never be solidarity if we don't see ourselves as one.

Book Launch: Broken Keys Don't Unlock Doors

Purchase Here!
From the uncensored and unedited voices of Baltimore’s youth: We have stories to tell. 
This book is filled with poems, personal narratives, and essays about racism, discrimination, corruption, and violence in urban education and our distrust in the system that is supposed to be supporting us. Read about the structural doors that need unlocking, keys to problems that need fixing, and our poetic reflections on finding a way out of the trap. Each handwritten story was pulled from the heart and there was true love poured into the illustrations. This is our contribution to our city and our world.  This is Broken Keys Don’t Unlock Doors

There's No Such Thing as a Reading Level

"Ms. Clay teach too fast. Don't she know we the dumb class?," she wrote in her life-book journal. The prompt was to recall your biggest take-aways from what was explored in Humanities that week, which also happened to be my first week of teaching them.

Whenever I notice students beginning to struggle with identifying their biggest takeaways, I usually ask questions like, "Five years from now, what will you remember about what you learned?" Not five years from now, not ten years, not ever, will I forget her last four words, "we the dumb class." Before I go any further, it is vital to note: This book was developed by the youth, for the youth, but this foreword is by their teacher, for other teachers, parents, and any adults who live to serve children.
Head to City Paper to Read More!

New Beliefs

I don't know why whenever I am accomplishing something really great (such as self-publishing my students' writing), I seem to fall into the darkness. I am grateful for this success but I still find myself self-loathing. And it hurts. This morning, I interrupted my regular meditative routine to get myself back into alignment with Source. I am sharing this with you because y'all are my tribe and I know that I am not alone. If I needed this, this morning, one of you may have too. Please know that you are not alone and I don't even know you but I love you because you are a reflection of me and I am of you and together we will levitate.

Could Be Great

I was a loser in high school because I was a follower. I was a follower because I was unsure of myself, low self-esteem, different than the people I wanted validation from. How do we keep our students from falling down this same rabbit hole? We need curriculums that stress soul searching in every grade. It should be mandatory that we center our work around teaching about healthy-individualism.  
There are grown-up followers that only like people or do things because their friends like those folks or do such things.
Like, grown like, over 30. This is why it's so important to teach the youth to embrace who they are and shape their own identity. 
Nothing more sad than an adult that does not know how to think for themselves or worse, thinks but decides to remain a follower because they don't want to risk losing their "friends." 
It's super corny to me and to everyone else. We see you. You have no identity and it's really sad because you really could be great. 
But is…

Under Acne

In an uber heading to meet josh at the jazz fest on Charles. I missed him. So glad he made it back stateside safely.
My mentor came by to drop off a few things to me. Asked me what's wrong. Said she can tell things are wrong. I thought she said it because of my skin. Ever since moving back out here, my face has broken out. Cystic acne. I never had acne as teenager. Only broke out once in my mid twenties but to be this age and breaking out is nothing short of annoying. And I'm as healthy as I can be. Okay, I could probably be a little more healthy but for goodness sakes I gave up coffee! Why is this still happening?! I gave up cheese! 
What ever. 
Ironically, she said it wasn't the acne. She said its in my eyes. I hugged her and just began crying. Not sobbing but definitely crying enough to appreciate her warmth.
My stress level isn't any higher than it used to be when I lived out here but my body reacts differently now than it did back then. Things are just diff…