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We must never forget: Black men and boys are dying

January 2, 2013 Front Page No Comments

casket

Eight years ago I was just a normal high school student with my share of challenges, but nothing seemed different than what other teenagers were facing. That is until I received a phone call that changed not only the way I viewed the world, but also my place within it.

My 20-year-old brother Andre was shot and killed a month before his 21st birthday.  His death devastated my family and still continues to hold a dark shadow over our lives today.

What continues to surprise and sadden me till this day is the fact that my brother isn’t the first or the last. Why? Every single day in America, news stories flash snapshots of a life that once was. Years of a young persons’ life is defined in less than two paragraphs in the back pages of a newspaper.  Burier grounds are assigned and  shortly the names are forgotten in the media. Those lives are only remembered by the ones that loved them most and the heavy tombstone-baring legacy to the lives they once laid.

Black men are dying. They are being murdered and not in some far away land but right here in our own backyards. They are our sons, fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins…they are our Trayvon’s, yet they are being used for target practice on our city streets. Where their blood runs through pavement cracks and they are reduce to life size portraits on the sidewalk.

According to the Special Report on Black Victims of Violent Crimes, published in 2007  by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, In 2005, [the year my brother was murdered] blacks were victims of nearly half (49%) of all homicides although accounting for only 13 percent of the U.S. population. What is even more disturbing is that 85 percent of black homicide victims were males and 51 percent between the ages of 17 to 19 years old.

Homicide is the leading cause of death for African American males between the ages of 15- 25 years old. The rate of deaths for African American males could be compared to the number of men and women we lose during times of war.

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[WATCH] Lil Boosie’s Daughter on Education

August 24, 2012 Front Page No Comments

Wow! All day, I’ve been seeing young kids talking positive. Just scrolled arcoss a video from Lil Boosie’s daughter Ivionna called “Education.” Kids check this:

 

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Don’t Let a Little Schooling get in the way of Your Education

April 12, 2012 Front Page No Comments

Mark Twain said, “Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.”

Today, we acknowledge that there is much wrong with our educational system such as: teaching to the test, cookie-cutter approaches to learning, de-emphasizing hands-on and physical education, ignoring innovation, and much more. From a student’s point of view, school can be boring, vexing, and confining.

The key, however, is not to drop out, but to begin to acquire a parallel education outside of the confines of the school system. As a person with innate talents and abilities, you should learn all you can to improve your talents. Acquire the education needed to make you a master of your craft. Read widely, study, practice, and create time to specialize. Any talent or skill requires hours of careful nurturing to yield greatness. It is through hours spent poring over computers that Bill Gates became a computer whiz. Similarly, Oprah Winfrey, recognizing her talent to connect with people, spent hours honing her skills before she became a master.

So, take time to hone your skills both within and outside of school and then…take the world by storm!

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White Teacher Tells Black Student To “Read Blacker!”

March 29, 2012 Front Page No Comments

A Virginia high school English teacher is under investigation for allegedly asking the only black student in the class to read a poem in a “blacker” manner.

Jordan Shumate, a ninth-grader at George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church, Va., says he was reading aloud Langston Hughes’ “Ballad of the Landlord” when teacher Marilyn Bart interrupted him and said “read it BLACKER”!

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Precious Knowledge: From Arizona to Milwaukee

Almost two years ago, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, signed the ‘papers please’ bill into law. Millions waited for President Obama to address national immigration policy, but nothing changed. The bill has continued to be challenged and will make its Supreme Court appearance this summer.

Something else happened soon after the immigration bill was passed. Another less visible, but equally destructive bill, was passed in the Arizona senate. House Bill 2281, known as the Ethnic Studies Ban, was targeted at a series of Chicano and Mexican-American classes in the Tucson School district. A fierce battle ensued with students and educators on one side, and the Arizona state government on the other.

You may not have heard anything about the months of protest, but one woman, Eren McGinnis, not only paid attention but filmed for an entire year in a high school. Through her documentary film, Precious Knowledge, we enter into the world of the forbidden class. In this film we get to see first-hand what all the fuss was about. It turns out that predominately Mexican and Latino schools discovered that by having Latino teachers, teaching students their history, arts, and culture improved the students grades, test scores, and confidence. When the high school seniors learned that they may lose the classes, they organized protests and publicly resisted the state’s attempt to eliminate their classes.

Hit the jump to watch the powerful trailer:

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