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Black Culture Civil Rights Education Equity and Justice trauma

Assistant Principal Done Lost His Damn Mind!

Assistant Principal Done Lost His Damn Mind.

Okay, I’m speaking solely as a father here.  In a recent bout against Black popular culture, an Assistant Principal of a school in Texas decided the best way to approach a uniform violation was to use a permanent marker to color in a students hair.

That’s right, permanent marker.  This was an Assistant Principal’s solution to a student coming in with a design in his hair.

I couldn’t imagine my approach if my son came home with a permanent marker in his hair.  I honestly don’t know if I’d be more upset with my son than I would be with the Assistant Principal that done lost his damn mind.

I’d be upset with my son because he didn’t ask to call me directly so that I could give him perspective on the situation.  But honestly speaking, these are the unfortunate circumstances that black and Latinx students face daily.  We put our kids in schools with folks that are not culturally informed, and these folks continue to degradate our children.

The Assistant Principal Has Rights.

Some folks are going to come to the aid of this Assistant Principal.  They’ll say he was following policies and procedures.  If he were a revered AP in his district, he’d find a new job in no time.  That’s how the system works, recycling administrators.

When will this constant assault on black culture end?  Our kids deserve better than this.  These strict policies outlined by districts don’t create a safe learning environment.  It does, however, develop a life of servitude.  When you treat kids like they are in prison, they’ll become prisoners.  And I don’t know one parent that is willingly sending their kid to school to become a felon.  Yet by having these “whip cracking” reactions to these culturally unjust policies creates a school to prison pipeline.

Dialogue That Disrupts the Lack of Cultural Acuity.

The only real way to address these types of issues is to create dialogue.  It goes back to training educators on how to engage families.  It also calls for educators to respect other people’s children.  Whenever I engage in dialogue with my students, I always approach it thinking about how I would want an educator to engage with my children.  By incorporating this mindset, it helps me to make sound decisions.  In the rare occasions that I question my choices, I’ll call a colleague for advice.  Before I make any final decision, I’m calling that students parents.  Why?  Because as a parent I would expect a phone call from an educator making a decision about my child.

The adults in this instance dropped the ball.  Now it’s up to this family to help this child put this incident behind him.  It’ll be hard for Black and Brown parents to trust educators in this district.  If I were in this district as a parent, I would ask for a policy review.  As parents, we have to understand our rights.  This type of incident is exactly why I support a parent’s union.  The students should have a union as well.  If educators are offered protection to do hideously stupid things to our families, parents and students deserve equal protection to ensure they are afforded protection as well.

Categories
Civil Rights Equity and Justice police brutality Politics

Black Lives Mean Nothing to Y’all

Black Lives Mean Nothing to Y’all.

Black Lives mean nothing to white people and I’m sick of it. A teenager in Broward County gets wrecked by police officers, all because he picked up a phone. Some will say it’s probably a back story on the situation, and we shouldn’t rush to judge.

We can sit up and make excuses for the why? At this point my feelings are, the “why” has been discussed ad nauseam.

How much more discussion needs to take place before we can readily admit that some police officers are ill-equipped to police Black and Latinx communities?

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Race as a Pretext.

It seems as if its a back story on every single issue that highlights race in the United States. The truth is Black lives have never mattered much in our country. As you walk yourselves through the progressive history of our country, minorities have always faced extermination in the sense that their lives haven’t mattered to white folks.

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Change.

Change starts with a conversation. But when communications are exhausted what’s the next step. If the next step is more conversations that’s fine, make sure you are having these conversations with your kids because these types of talks could be a matter of life and death.

 

Categories
African American History Black Culture Equity and Justice Parenting

The Ray(s) vs. Everybody Podcast

An Educator’s Sacrifice.

As educators, we tend to give a lot to our students. So much, in fact, I know many educators that neglect their own children due to the demands of the career. I have felt victim to that many times. Feeling disconnected from your child’s life is not a good feeling at all. This feeling got me to thinking, how can I help others while still keeping a pulse on what my teenager is doing. It was there I thought of The Ray(s) vs. Everybody Podcast.

Falling Prey to the System.

Black and Latinx boys have become prey to a system that does not prepare adequately to become men. Some would even say that the system not only sets them up for failure but it’s making them ready for prison. I needed to come up with a way to advance the culture while not allowing my own son to become a victim to the system.

A New Type of Podcast.

We have decided to theme this podcast on Black and Latinx culture while keeping the focus on uplifting black boys through emphasizing education. My son is an expert on most things culture. I’m taking a back seat and asking questions parents should ask while maintaining a safe space for a Black male teenager to navigate through his feelings while being expressive about the things he doesn’t understand. The most exciting part of this podcast is the fact that I’m learning from my son the expert.

The Ray(s) Vs. Everybody Podcast.

In the first episode of The Ray(s) vs. Everybody Podcast, we talk about Kodak Black and his current media backlash. Ray Jr. comes into his own as a voice for teenagers growing up in the United States post-Obama. It’s vital that we give our young Black and Latinx teenagers an outlet to express themselves. There’s no better way to do that than to meet them on technological platforms that peak their interests while creating a safe space for them to be expressive.

Bridgebuilder.

I hope that this podcast serves as a bridge between Black and Latinx boys and the male figures in their lives.  I think The Ray(s) vs. Everybody Podcast can be transformational in terms of forming a better dialogue between Black and Latinx males.

Categories
African American History Black Culture Civil Rights Education Equity and Justice Parenting

Black Folks Y’all Are on Your Own!

Origination of Black Folks Y’all Are on Your Own!

I can’t take total credit for this. The title of this blog post was actually an underlying theme of the 8blackhands podcast. Dr. Cole, our esteemed “podmate” has been saying this for a while. It seems as though with everything that we discuss in education, Black Folks Y’all are on your own!

What this means is, people will do their damnedest to point out to you that a problem exists in education, but little to no effort will go into providing you with solutions on how to navigate through the nuances of the said problem.

The More Things Change.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. If I were to ask an old-timer, do you think that things have changed from the Civil Rights Movement? I guess that 8/10 would say yes.

The tenor in the country is lighter, there are fewer forms of public violence against minorities, but are we looking at things from the correct lens?

Let’s Analyze the picture to the left of the screen. I’d like to pay particular attention to the Black Incarceration data set. We all can concede that Black and Latinx folks are overly criminalized in American society.

There are at least two Democratic nominees for President that are vying for the presidency based on criminal justice reform. They identified the problem, “Black Incarceration,” and they created a platform to change it, “criminal justice reform.” It seems simple enough. But I definitely won’t hold my breath for the outcome.

When will Educating Black Kids Change?

Another problem that we have identified is Black and Latinx students are failing in K-12 education in the United States. It’s actually quite awful how much they have fallen behind their counterparts.

Meanwhile, racism and prejudice continue to permeate the discourse in determining why? In the NYC debate over how to better integrate its specialized high schools, Asian parents have established a campaign in which they are saying “Black and Latinx parents don’t care about their child’s education.” When asked to provide proof of such, and I was advised to go to any NYC library.

I was then told that in the library you’d find Asian kids studying, but you wouldn’t find black kids doing the same. Therefore it was equated that “Blacks and Latinx folks don’t care about their children’s education.

Navigating Through the Nuance.

We’ve established that Black Folks are on their own in K-12 education. Rather than walk you through the solutions of how to navigate through the nuance, I’ve decided to make this blog interactive.

If you have ideas as to how to solve the educational woes from Black and Brown folks, we want to hear your solutions. You can reach out to us @8Blackhands1 on twitter. Tonight’s episode, we will talk in debt with Dr. Cole about: Black Folks Y’all are on your own! So stay tuned.