Thursday, September 20, 2007
oh how i love black people, young people, and ALL people. how did you spend your Black Thursday?
the little one and i donned all black in solidarity with the cause. i made sure i bought him a black t-shirt last night, just so he could support the movement, even if he didn't understand what was going on. these boys could easily be my son, our son.
(the fliers posted in my classroom)
wednesday, i briefly mentioned the Jena 6 to my students. i was pleasantly surprised when many of them knew SOME, albeit wrong, information about the situation. when i realized HOW confused their information was, i set out to help them to understand the gravity of the situation and how it affects them. i put together a short powerpoint explaining the Jena 6, the significance of nooses & how lynching was used to terrorize blacks, and in particular black males.
they sat in awe.
i saw their questioning faces look up at me for answers. why would anybody HATE in such a way? kids are funny, full of the ideologies of their parents. last year i was frustrated when my attempt at a discussion about the juvenile justice system spiraled into a bunch of missed points. but today...the points were not missed.
during the course of our discussion some of my kids went from completely ignorant, to hating whitey, to hearing & knowing that ALL people (black or white) are not just one way. see, we have to be careful not to get our youth SO riled up they begin to carry around their own brand of hate. i made them remember those (non-minorities) that love and care for them, and then we were cool. we moved from helplessness to empowerment as we wrote letters to the Governor of Louisiana (i will be mailing them tomorrow).
i am so proud of everyone who sacrificed their time & energy to this cause. i am proud of my students and their young, precious, BRILLIANT minds.
today was a GREAT day
but we can't stop
Posted by the prisoner's wife On 7:17 PM 4 comments
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Warning: if you are offended by the n-word & expletives, this post ain't for you. proceed.
BLACK radio is doing it! there is an air of protest and youth-activism that we haven't seen in YEARS. If it weren't for black radio's on air personalities (Michael Baisden, Steve Harvey, and Tom Joyner to name a few) & black bloggers around the globe, many of us would be completely in the dark about the plight of the Jena 6.
I am an avid news/news magazine junkie and I have YET to see a story of substance regarding the Jena 6 on ANY mainstream news outlet. Over the weekend there was a BRIEF story (about 2 minutes) about the Jena 6 on MSNBC because one of the anchors was interviewing Al Sharpton, but other than that...silence.
I am at a loss at why the media chooses to BLACKout the racial issues that continue to plague America. The MSNBC anchor had the audacity to ask Rev. Sharpton if "deep seeded racism" still exists in "pockets" around the country. ummm, HELLO!? sometimes i wonder what planet most white people live on (anybody? explain?). racial inequities continue to exist in the media, in our education system, in our cities, and let's not get me started on the VAST inequalities in the justice system. over 40 years after we marched on Washington, Selma, and Watts...Marvin Gaye (RIP) is still wondering WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?
(phil spector's crazy ass & oj's dumb ass...a media match made in heaven)
The media's lack of coverage is troubling, especially in light of the stories they choose to cover. Michael Vick was all the rage for a while, now it's OJ's turn. *shakes head* I wish OJ would go into a hole and sit down somewhere. this fool, makes Chris Rock's "black people vs. niggas" routine all the more relevant. i'm with Chris...i love black people....but...
I HATE NIGGAS!
and OJ is the coon-ing-ist (yeah, i made that up) ass NIGGA on the block! Damn! even crazy ass Phill Spector, who blew this white chick's brains out, can't even take his shine. OJ has to be fuckin delusional. how a nigga gon' run his own "sting" operation without that shit going awry? how can he NOT realize white people (and now black people) HATE his guts and want to see him wearing prison blues? get ready Orenthal....you're about to be inmate #1234567, a ward of the State of Nevada. bend over, nigga.
i hope i don't sound crazy, i'm just angry. and black. i'm not paranoid either. hundreds of years of oppression have colored my stance on things. being a teacher, a facilitator of young black minds comes with a whole host of responsibilities. i feel as though it is my DUTY to shed light on the plight of our kids. these random news stories are merely distractions. we need to focus our attentions on the Jena 6. many of you probably won't make it to the rally on Thursday (i will be at work telling my students about this), BUT we have been asked (and i am asking you) to wear BLACK on Thursday to show your support for the Jena 6.
(i *heart* mos def & cornell west...preach brovas!)
read up on the plight of the Jena 6, write a check, tell somebody....DO SOMETHING...
Posted by the prisoner's wife On 8:05 PM 9 comments
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Black men are America's most likely crime victims. Even Latino men, who suffer high homicide rates, are much less likely than black men to be murdered. A black man is safer in prison today than living free in Los Angeles County.
THIS scares me.
According to the Los Angeles Time Homicide Report, a weekly tally of all the homicides in LA Country, young, black men are safer in prison than walking the streets of LA. I am shocked, appalled, and afraid, especially for my bothers & son.
where have i been?
i am an 80s baby. i grew up in the heart of South-Central LA in the 80s, lived through gang wars & colors, and I suppose, i figured everything had died down. nowadays, when my students come to me refusing to write in anything EXCEPT blue ink, spelling my name wrong ON PURPOSE because they refuse to put the "C and K" together, and claiming they are from "such and such set," I shake my head and can't understand. for some strange reason I thought gang bangin was dead, burried deep in our memories right next to Cube's jeri curl & Raiders jacket. But apparently it's still alive and well in the hearts and mind of our youths.
This year Six Hundred & Seven people have been murdered in Los Angeles County. 607. of those, 180 (or 17%) have been Black Males. An overwhelming majority of them (156) met their demise by the way of a gun.
I don't even know where we can begin to change this (suggestion?).
I'm sure these statistics aren't foreign to other major cities. where do we begin to pick of the pieces of our broken youth? In 2005-06 many news sources did several news reports on the state of Black men in America, but I have yet to read or hear anything about the brothas this year. Perhaps our men are out of style; overshadowed by celebrity gossip and political scandals. But the question remains...what can we do about it?
How do we begin saving ourselves, because it is OBVIOUS, no one else will do it for us. Where do we even begin?
Personally, I am starting with my son. My son has a living, breathing example of how bad decisions & choices can really cause setbacks in your life (his father). beloved and I talk, at length, about our hopes and dreams for our son and how no matter what, he will NOT make the same mistakes we've made.
my son will not be statistic
we can keep him safe
long enough to succeed
Since posting yesterday, the number has gone up to 620! this is damn ridiculous.
Posted by the prisoner's wife On 5:52 PM 10 comments
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
(my classroom. pic taken by camera phone)
tomorrow is the first day of school. i have been preparing for/dreading this day all summer. don't get me wrong, i dig my job and my students, however, i am not as excited as last year. but on the other hand (and more positively so), i am not as nervous either. i know what to expect. i know the kids will come, full of energy. full of life and gatorade. hot cheetos and attitude. my students are comming, and i am not ready.
i am still new to this.
fresh in the teaching game, and i kind of feel like this is my first day of school all over again. i wonder, what will i wear? what will they think of me? how will they like the class (and me)? i know i am not supposed to care how the students view me. i am the teacher, after all. however, i don't want to merely be an authority figure who they look for every opportunity to buck. i'd rather be a mentor. a facilitator of words and sounds and thoughts that get sparked somewhere in the back of their mind. i want to be THAT teacher that movies and books are written about. THAT teacher that kids think about every time they are asked, "who inspired you to be....great?"
lofty goals, i know. ambitious. perhaps even foolish. but if we, teachers, enter our classrooms thinking that we can't save them all, or thinking some will ultimately fail...WE will fail.
my kids...yes, MY kids, not by birth but by birth right, are a blank canvas waiting to be filled. they need love and manners and slaps on the wrist. they need us, teacher-folk/parent-folk to stand in the gaps and help them dream.
a daunting task, but i'm ready.
Posted by the prisoner's wife On 10:42 PM 4 comments