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Tuesday December 18th 2018

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Critiquing Curriculum: Why Unattended Messages connect to dehumanizing bias, power, privilege, tokenizing specific social identities – and the omission of specific Identities

After carefully reviewing some curriculum for an 11th grade class, it became obvious the historical context was one-sided and favored the authors point of view; white, male and totally bias in its delivery of important historical circumstances from slavery to the civil rights era. The disproportionate grasp of realities should concern educators, administrators and more importantly parents and learners in K-12; especially learners of color. There is one point to consider…most curriculum’s were not written with learners of color in mind. #killthembeforetheygrow

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News

What public schools usually teach about Christopher Columbus is whitewashed, sanitized and reconstructed for the good of the popular construct in society...and its not people or learners of color.

What public schools usually teach about Christopher Columbus is whitewashed, sanitized and reconstructed for the good of the popular construct in society…and its not people of learners of color.

The learning environment built around students should be formed by a non-biased integral education that respects every possible point of view. A real educative process must ensure that every single student becomes aware of all the aspects and facts that happened throughout history, without any kind of manipulation. It is very well known how “history belongs to the victors” and how those “victors” always end up being the ones who write that history in their own favor, but is that really beneficial for our students? How can our students from high school obtain an objective view of the world if the knowledge we are providing them is affected by subjective tendencies? Are we really edifying citizens with a true grasp of the human history and critical thinking?

Most of our history textbooks omit very important parts and events that refer to some of the most important causes defended by society, because they want to favor a “neutral” education. The issue here is that, if they really wanted to create and pursue a balanced point of view, they should actually address every single fact and movement in history to allow an integral point of view. Most teachers also follow these guidelines without even realizing how their views might be biased towards certain political agendas or social prejudices. These are the conditions that produce an unbalanced learning process that establishes an incomplete culture of everything that has happened and still happens all around us. Are the students being formed with an accurate holistic understanding of the world, as well as the genuine struggles of the people or are is their education being administered by the establishment of prejudices and conservative views?

The absence of materials and contents about critical aspects of history, such as black history for instance, lead to a disproportionate grasp of reality and the circumstances surrounding the development of humanity. Every person should be allowed to see and understand every perspective from history during their formative years in order to broaden their minds and establish essential values such as tolerance and respect. It should be society’s mission to make sure the youth has the appropriate models, because it is the best moment to make them aware of all the implications this has in our world and in their existence. We always talk about how Columbus “discovered” the American continent and we talk about him as if he was savior in a shiny armor, but we usually leave out the part where the Spanish conquerors performed a mass genocide and forced religious indoctrination in the native and millennial indigenous tribes of Central and South America. Is this the real “neutral” version of history we want our high schools students to learn and accept as a truth for the sake of simplicity and traditional thinking?

If we want to create better human beings that know how to truthfully live as a community and respect each other, we must acknowledge all the facts that the true history of humanity has, no matter how crude, uncomfortable or inconvenient they might be. In any case, that should precisely the most important reason we must do it: So our young generation truly becomes completely aware and understands the magnitude of our mistakes and our struggles within our human condition, so we make sure they don’t make those same errors and recognize the value of the efforts that our civilization has had up until the present moment. The key to build a brighter and better future lies in the proper acknowledgement of every single step humanity has taken, to know exactly where our next step should be.

#MichaelBrown is probably sitting in your classroom

By Lisa Mims, Guest Columnist – Our Black News

So will #trayvonmartin, #renishamcbride, and so many other unarmed  African Americans who have been murdered.

Most of our students have probably been exposed to what has taken place in Ferguson. The shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black male by a police officer. Some may be experiencing a number of emotions, anger, fear, anxiety, etc…

What do we as educators do? How do we react? Should we pretend it’s not happening, and stick to the curriculum? Should we open it up for discussion, making sure not to taint the discussion with our own bias? I imagine middle school and high school students would be more acutely aware of what is going on then elementary students. What do, or should, we say to them?

I read a FB post that was reposted on Twitter, a woman rants against African-Americans.

Facebook post (Fair use)

Facebook post (Fair use)

Notice the word “they.” That word “they” makes it easy to treat fellow human beings indecently. When African-Americans are seen  as “they“, and  a series of characteristics are attributed to them, they are no longer human. “They” are a series of stereotypes, strung together, easily shot down.

“They” are not hard-working people who have contributed much to society. “They” do not get up every morning, just like everyone else, and go to work. “They” are not doctors, lawyers, scientists, politicians, bus drivers, and teachers!

What can we do with, and for, the #MichaelBrown in our classroom?

We need to make sure that they understand that their life is worth just as much as anyone else’s. We need to listen to them, not only to their words, but their actions as well. We need to let them tell us how they are feeling, what they are feeling. We need to understand that maybe, just maybe, analyzing text is just not that pressing a need as it might seem. We need our students to understand that they are not, nor do they have to be, “they.” And as educators, if we agree with Catherine’s sentiments, even in the privacy of our homes, we should not be in a classroom with #MichaelBrown.

#Michaelbrown may be sitting in your classroom, what are you going to do?

This post originally appeared on Diary of a Public School Teacher, and was republished with permission.

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Diary of a Public School Teacher is a blog where Lisa Mims shares her  thoughts about any aspect of the teaching profession. She is a DEN (Discovery Education Network) STAR Educator! She loves writing and has contributed posts to Free Technology for Teachers, Edudemic, TeachHub, GoAnimate, Edutopia, etc.

Making Racism Work: There will always be House Ni**as

Racial prejudice: “My Culture Made Me Do It”

By Don Allen, Our Black News

Before I begin, I would like to make three very important points in simple clarity. The first one being, I have no intention of moving back to Africa for some sense of moral or structural utopia where blacks work together side-by-side for the good of blacks…that’s bullshit anyway; I am a black American, born in Minnesota, if I cannot make it here there are 49 other states to consider home. And thirdly, no matter how much black and whites talk openly and seriously about racism, there will always be a few House Ni**ers that send today’s black social construct back to the days of white only drinking fountains. Governor Dayton’s meeting with self-appointed, elite DFL leaders will not bring forth any new fruit to Black Minnesotans – just the same old nothing.

Act like a Negro...Think like a slave. (Photo: black-culture.com - Fair Use)

Act like a Negro…Think like a slave. (Photo: black-culture.com – Fair Use)

The Black Minnesotans must activate their survival mode software to navigate in a nation that is judge, jury and executioner in not only magic blue uniform, but those who sit behind symbols of hate and discontent, waiting for an opportunity exercise the invisible and deadly privilege of white hope. We (blacks) do not have time to hold our breath and wait for an ideology we have never seen. Malcolm X, dead. Martin Luther King, Jr. – dead. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton – compromised. Charles Barkley, out of his rabbit-ass mind. Bill Cosby, done. There is not one black man or woman that black America can walk beside who represents our patriotism, honor, and pride…not even the former black president.

Face it – the 1960s and 1970s are long gone…the people that spoke for black America have been rendered useless by a Jewish-owned powerful mainstream media platform that can strike in the middle of a poor black neighborhood and every black person tuned to watch or listening believes every word. Respected black scholar Michael Eric Dyson has picked the side of the Democratic plantation for Hillary Clinton and used his many platforms to damn Dr. Cornel West for his consistent agitation against Barack Obama, (Land of the brave; home of the Free…not hardly).

Obama, the former president of the United States checked out on Americans of color using boutique catch phrases and acting black (but not as black as Rachel Dolezal), by appearing on Black Entertainment Network (BET) in a effort to play up his (and our) blackness; I am sorry Mr. Obama, you are not doing enough, and no president could, not even a black one. So while we are stuck in America’s racist purgatory with black people who see fit to assault the fabric of black progress with silence, it lets me know my work is not finished…it has only just begun; the House Ni**er sits poised on the thrones of their white masters to stop progress; create civil unrest and to help the mainstream media point back to the “animals” in poor communities who have suffered for more than a century continuing to receive humanities checks marked NSF.

This story is for the black mothers, fathers, children and other concerned individuals so we can start to try and make sense of what is going on in America today. Racism is a learned behavior, being a House Nigger is a choice.

Twin Cities youth violence engagement missing children who use guns to kill

Tune into the Ron and Don Show on #BlogTalkRadio Wednesday, June 17 at 8:30 p.m. – the phone lines will be open to discuss the recent rash of homicides and what the community can do solve this dangerous epidemic. To listen, click here.

The following video (North Minneapolis) was sent to Our Black News via Facebook. This proves some youth are off the grid:

[evp_embed_video url=”http://ourblacknews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/video-1433857917.mp4.mp4″]

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News

There were three recorded shootings on Tuesday, June 16 in the Twin Cites. One person confirmed dead and the condition of the others unknown. As it stands now children are out of school and the level of common street violence has risen to a level that has drawn the attention of the mainstream media and concerned business owners in the area affected.

Youth never engaged are off the grid; that's how crime scenes are made.

Youth never engaged are off the grid; that’s how crime scenes are made.

Social media has been buzzing with cell phone videos of youth fighting in the streets, swearing and outrageous behaviors that are common in low-income areas where no summertime employment is available and the local adults working who need to pay bills to survive fill the McDonald’s job market pushing out what was commonly known as an entry level job. It’s definitely not the 1970s anymore in the Twin Cities.

Since 2008, many community leaders, social service agencies and philanthropic foundations have focused resources towards the ever-growing challenge of youth violence in the Twin Cities. For the most part, boutique engagements, meaning working within safe parameters so that real issues and youth with weapons, ready to kill at the slightest disrespect or relationship challenges are never addresses nor is there been an intentional concern about these throw-away youth.

Killing by gun in the Twin Cites is an all too common theme. One of the many questions that arises during conversations is how do youth get weapons in an area that is economically unqualified to produce such weapons? Year-to-date, no one can answer the question on how youth get weapons, but everyone agrees, there is no gun manufacturing plant owned by blacks, and guns come into the community the same way drugs do…imported by someone who is non-black.

A longtime north Minneapolis resident that we will call, “Tony,” for his safety, told Our Black News, “It’s easy to get a gun. Sometimes people on drugs have stolen weapons like knifes, rifles and handguns and just want to sell them. I’ve heard of white dudes from the suburbs who sometimes trade weapons for drugs. There are many ways these guns get in the hands of the youth. Nobody talks to them either.”

What “Tony” says is the truth. There is a level of community members in the Twin Cities that are off the grid. Nonprofit agencies with the missions of addressing youth violence never make contact with these children, sometimes that are drop outs from school and wander the streets with their peers looking for trouble. At this point, I do not have a solution, but I wish the city, schools and state would stop funding the usual suspects in the Twin Cites that have no relationship with community members off the radar. Until we (the black community) re-connects with these youth; and the school address the cultural needs; and the city realizes the need for summer employment, more people (including innocent folks), will be killed by children who use guns.

Open letter to Minnesota governor Mark Dayton: What will you do about the Minnesota Department of Administration not using its authority to correct disparities in contracting for over 16 years?

Editor’s note: For more than 20 years, the Council on Black Minnesotans sat idle conforming to status quo. Two years ago a change happened. Under the leadership of COBM chairman Patwin Lawrence and executive director Edward McDonald, the COBM started to address issues of compliance in the state of Minnesota. In retaliation for the COBM’s in-depth analysis of alleged misdeeds by state agencies (MnDOT, Met Council, MN Department of Administration and MN Department of Human Rights), legislation was written and supported by black elected officials including senators Bobby Joe Champion, Jeff Hayden, state representative Rena Moran with a white legislator, Carolyn Laine co-authoring a bill to put the ethnic councils out of business and make current employees re-apply for their jobs. Governor Dayton knows this is not fair and under the color of law must immediately make corrective actions.

(Video of press conference by the Independent Business News Networks – Our Black News 2015)

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News

Gov. Mark Dayton is creating a hostile environment for the black middle-class in Minnesota.

Gov. Mark Dayton is creating a hostile environment for the black middle-class in Minnesota.

The Minnesota chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in coordination with the Council on Black Minnesotans (COBM) held a press conference on Friday, June 12 in front of the State Office Building in St. Paul to demanding senator Tom Bakk, senate majority leader Kurt Daudt, speaker of the house and governor Mark Dayton agree to finance an audit during the special session to ensure equal opportunity compliance in state government operations. The request is in response to a recent report by the Council on Black Minnesotans that uncovered decades-long lack of enforcement of the state’s contracting, affirmative action and human rights acts.

The Council on Black Minnesotans analysis found there has been no net increase in the base funding of the Minnesota Human Rights Department in nearly two decades; not one state department has a conforming affirmative action plan; and for 16 years, the Minnesota Department of Administration has not used its authority to instantaneously correct disparities in contracting when detected.

In light of these findings, the NAACP calls for the Office of the Governor, the Senate and House of Representatives to agree at the special session to approve and finance an independent audit covering the last five years of the administrative application of Minnesota Statute 16C (Procurement Act), 43A (Affirmative Action Act) and 363A (Human Rights Act).

The NAACP believes these findings in the Council on Black Minnesotans analysis, which was completely ignored by the legislature and led to legislative retaliation toward the council, underlies the findings in a 2013, Wall Street Journal 24/7 Report; which identifies Minnesota as the second worst place in America for Black people. The report indicates a typical black household in Minnesota earned less than half the median income of white households in 2013, well below 62.3 percent nationwide. Low incomes among the black population are likely due in part to a high unemployment rate. While 15 percent of black workers in the state were unemployed in 2013, fewer than 5 percent of the total workforce did not have a job, a gap nearly twice as large as the national gap.

In addition, the NAACP requests the Governor, Senate and House Representatives create a working group comprised of the state ethnic councils that desires to participate to provide audit oversight and to determine if there is a need for corrective action and bring forth recommendations.

Patwin Lawrence, Board Chair of the Council on Black Minnesotans stated, “Our goal with the publishing of our report was to meet out statutory duty and help our state establish a commitment to cultural agility in the state’s governmental operations. We did not expect the state to retaliate against us by taking the responsibility for such reports away. If our report is not going to be accepted, then conduct an audit not another disparity study. The audit is needed to quantify how Minnesota moves forward with eradicating and prevent disparities in the operation of state government and the marketplace. This audit lays the foundation for the necessary plan to do so.”

As said earlier, it is up to you governor Mark Dayton to make corrective actions immediately…what will you do?

Summer is here, school is out; how can we help K-12 learners retain knowledge during summer break?

Not every child in poor communities will take summer school classes. Community members must support summer programs that engage parents and families.

Check out "To Succeed You Must Read" summer programming. For more information, call (469) 387-1929.

Check out “To Succeed You Must Read” summer programming. For more information, call (469) 387-1929.

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News

In this modern world filled with thousands of technological distractions, it is becoming very difficult for students to focus in their educative processes without falling for the temptations of using free wifi or instant messaging.  What can we do to help students keep their attention on the important things and contents that will be essential for them in the future in an attractive way? How can we incorporate meaningful activities during summer breaks in order maintain their interest and mindset around their education?

First of all, we need to acknowledge the fact that learning should be a cyclical process based on scaffolding. Most teachers and professional trainers become inefficient to some degree because they fail to recognize this basic truth, and do not apply the right procedures that will help them avoid the classic forgetting curve, which is a fundamental truth in memory theory. The key element to make sure the retention of knowledge happens successfully in our students by applying constant revision in regular doses to consolidate their memories.

Second of all, we must make sure students keep contact with at least some of the most important part of every subject during summer time. Let’s be honest: it’s very difficult for most kids to even open a book in their free time, so it seems impossible to make this happen. How do we proceed under these difficult conditions? If we want to make a difference here, there must be a shift in our approach on the situation: instead of giving students lots and lots of boring and difficult material they have to do, let’s give them small spaced doses of knowledge over a period of time to elaborate and allow deep processing to fix long-term memories. If we do this, they won’t feel the pressure of the assignments and the increase in the productivity of learning will be gigantic.

The other main aspect to consider is the fact that during summer, students are on their own: they won’t have a teacher that will be guiding them or helping them with their doubts, (or to act as a positive role model and supervise the kids during the summer months-keeping them out of danger and away from crime) so we must prepare students and give them the right strategies that will allow them to ensure their own learning. This is a very beneficial measure to take: it will help them to gain control over their own learning process, which will benefit them not only during the summer, but in every educational task they undertake in the future. The most important step we must follow is teaching students these strategies during the school year and give them the right opportunities to put them to practice during their free time. Some of the best strategies we can teach them are: Self-rehearsal, Blogging, and Games pedagogy.

Self-rehearsal gives students changes to go over the information many times and create a pattern of reinforcement. Besides, everyone can adapt it to their own needs or schedules, so it’s very approachable for most people. Blogging will let students share information with other students and even their teacher while they are away, so the flow of the learning process never gets broken. This is also a way to include the new technologies in education that is becoming more and more popular in online courses, and with good reason: it conveys a repeated consolidation and feedback which promotes retention. Games pedagogy is a must, if we want students to use their time to learn during the summer. Good games that allow for repetition and let you progress according to your proficiency level of the subject, while being fun are probably the best way to include those modern tools that sometimes we consider enemies, as our best allies.

The benefits promoted by all these constructivist and modern methods in retention work together, so the more chances students get to manipulate, develop, understand and practice with their own methods, the more and better results they will obtain. Long term memory is built by experiencing something many times, familiarizing with it and creating emotional ties with it, so let’s show every single child and teenager the right way to make the best of their summer and still have fun.

Press Conference: Minnesota’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Friday June 12, 11:00 AM

URGENT! FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – SEE BELOW FOR DETAILS

The Minnesota chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will hold a press conference on Friday June 12, 2015 at 11:00 am in front of the State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd to demand Senator Tom Bakk, Senate Majority Leader, Kurt Daudt, Speaker of the House and Governor Mark Dayton  agree to finance an audit during the special session to ensure equal opportunity compliance in state government operations. The request is in response to a recent report by the Council on Black Minnesotans that uncovered decades-long lack of enforcement of the state’s contracting, affirmative action and human rights acts.

Please see the attached press release for details. Contact:

Edward McDonald 651-770-9364 or

Patwin Lawrence 612-206-2961

 

Designer Poverty: Come to the Twin Cities – we do it right!

You know who you are…yes you; the people who run nonprofit agencies in the poorest part of town and wouldn’t be caught dead walking in the streets after 7 pm. You have designed and maintained a system of check and balance that only assist the people who work in your office…

By Donald Allen, Publisher – Our Black News

Minneapolis, Minn. – There is something to be said about organizations, politicians and community spokespersons who become ingrained in a process of using humans as a way to gain access for funding and dismissing the notion of helping their cash crop to become stable and acquire some type of standardized normalcy.

Minnesota Nice, the best of the Twin Cities.

Minnesota Nice, the best of the Twin Cities.

Author Ralph Ellison wrote, “All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried telling me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory” (Invisible Man). In the Twin Cities some are “told” what they are, where to go and who they can be. This is a sad documentary on defining humanity, culture and identity in 2013. The status quo of poverty in the Twin Cities is to let those in poverty stay lost within their environments, undeveloped, misinformed and of course misguided.

Residents of the Twin Cities, especially those residing in areas with large populations of blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Somali, and the poor have seen a down-tick in proactive engagement and services. In most cases the right process would lift service-dependent clients up from current norms into an abnormal hemisphere of self-sufficiency while stabilizing their foundations into a station of strength, solidarity and forward progress. For that to happen, poverty in the Twin Cities would need to have an expiration date – an elimination of life-disrupting incidents brought on by circumstance, environments and the political infrastructure.

The protagonist blocking the success of the lower one-third and middle-class in the Twin Cities are those who operated in the areas of non-profit organizations whose life’s-blood depends on the next grant; number of poor, homeless, unhealthy, unemployed, untrained, uneducated and of course poor children. I need to make it very clear; there is a need for these agencies, but not at the current levels. A consolidation of repeat programing could form a cohesive tracking of those in need to the next level of personal success versus the multifaceted referral system, which in most cases has too many interconnected loopholes that leads to missing those who really need the assistance.

Another part of this puzzle is the lack of community engagement. The Star Tribune posted a story this week, “Where’s the community and the engagement?” – citing, “Community engagement seems to be all the rage these days as a buzzword at 1250 Broadway, headquarters of Minneapolis Public Schools.” Again, one of the many protagonists in Designer Poverty is the public school system. Community engagement does not mean asking teachers unions, hiring people who can’t read a book, write a proposal, talk in a sentence to do outreach – which the school system is currently doing. This unfavorable one-sided process is masked in conflict, irony – foreshadowed by a process that will not ever provide great outcomes. This is the true meaning of Designer Poverty.”

Other examples of origins of Designer Poverty and how it is created can been seen in real time by local agencies to include, but not limited to: Minneapolis Urban League, Minneapolis Foundation, Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce, NAACP-MN, African-American Leadership Forum and of course, any political organization who takes their constituency for granted – this goes for the Minnesota DFL and the Minnesota GOP. Politics have not been a good bedfellow for those in poverty. In minority-ethnic communities, it is only a few that come to the table or organization, outreach and information. The usual suspects are encouraged and in some cases make WAM (walking around money) to redirect poverty-stricken residents into hopeless engagement similar to telling them, “If you buy a lottery ticket, you could have the winning ticket.” Perpetual anxiety, mixed with the promise of a “new tomorrow” complicates comprehension of the basic needs of humans who suffer.

Designer Poverty in the Twin Cities is a multi-billion dollar business. The people who benefit, for the most part don’t live within the boarders of the Twin Cities. To stay in business, successful measurable outcomes must be limited; focus must be narrow and the usual suspects must develop a secret agenda absent of the mainstream.

The ideology of non-profit social service agencies have been replaced with a “bank-like” operation that in most cases only helps itself.

 

The Urgent Need to have African American male teachers in Elementary Schools in the United States

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan set a 2015 goal to bring more black male teachers to U.S. schools. “We want to have world-class teachers in every classroom, there is nothing more important, but for me, it’s also important that those teachers reflect the diversity of our nation,” Secretary Duncan told NBC News. So Secretary Duncan, what happened in Minnesota?

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News

Heinz Endowments-supported efforts to increase the number of African American male teachers, which include the Black Men Teaching and Heinz Fellows.(photo: Fair Use)

Heinz Endowments-supported efforts to increase the number of African American male teachers, which include the Black Men Teaching and Heinz Fellows.(photo: Fair Use)

Teachers are essential in our society: they represent one of the first formal role models children experience in their lives; a living example of how human beings should interact with each other and the environment they live in. They accomplish many multi-faceted parts: professor, psychologist, counselor, mediator, and entertainer; sometimes even the friend role. Teachers are the basis of society because in their hands, the minds and the values of millions of human beings are going to be molded and defined, something we sometimes take for granted.

As a multicultural civilization, our goal is to open the mind of every student and allow them to understand and embrace all the differences, the particularities and the unique features from each culture. African American culture and its legacy probably represent one of the biggest cultural heritages in our country and the inclusion of more African American teachers, particularly male ones, in our elementary schools is definitely one of the many things we still haven’t done in order to make sure this happens. It is very common to see female elementary school teachers, but when we talk about the male African American version of this job, we find ourselves in a very, very worrying position.

Why is this something we should be really worried about? Aren’t female teachers just perfect for children? Consider the following: we are talking about giving our children, especially our African American childhood, a genuine role model they can relate to. Humanity is filled with lots of prejudices and racist mindsets towards African Americans, some of them reinforced by the media and the authorities, which usually relate them with crime, street gangs and drugs. This is an extremely sad picture kids get from their own people in a daily basis, one that shows them as incapable of doing great things and get ahead in life; one that creates the ill-formed idea that they will never be able to achieve their dreams just because of their race and the their origins.

Once the African American youth have the chance to see a black male teacher leading their class, a change will occur: They will acquire the incredible opportunity to see a person who is just like them doing a positive deed, defending constructive values and giving them the advice and the confidence they needed. It is about feeling represented: realizing that in most of the times, the stereotypes established by our biased ways of thinking are completely wrong and that they have a real prospect to attain greatness and live a full life, because they finally had someone to look up to. Those kids, who are being tempted by the wrong things in their difficult neighborhoods and sometimes their difficult home circumstances, will finally have a reference to follow, a ray of light to guide them in these modern times of uncertainty.

Once we show them that in our nation every person, no matter what race or opinion they might have, has a true chance of being treated like a respectable citizen and build their life and ideas, we will be giving them the precise representation they crave for. African American male teachers in elementary schools should be a breakthrough we should all be fighting for, because it means fighting for a much more equal and tolerant world; a world where African American young people will have someone to look up to, and everyone else realizes they have to stop looking down upon something so natural and human: diversity. The example is not only for African Americans, but for everyone in our country.

 

Why African American and African studies should be a requirement in Twin Cities Public Schools

It’s been over a month since I sent my CV to a local nonprofit agency that was searching to hire Fellows to work on a brief in support of African American studies in the public school systems. I never got a response, but that will never keep me from championing causes I believe in. Of course this nonprofit might be like others who talk a big game, but when it comes down to pushing an agenda for black learners, they are in lock-step within a political infrastructure led by their friends…they would never push against that, even if it is the right thing to do.

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News (Twin Cities)

Twin Cities public schools do not teach the greatness of our black forefathers, nor will they acknowledge the greatness of the black body. (photo: Tumblr - Fair Use).

Twin Cities public schools do not teach the greatness of our black forefathers, nor will they acknowledge the greatness of the black body. (photo: Tumblr – Fair Use).

Every man and woman in existence has a vast story behind then and a bright future to come, but in order to understand where we are going as a society, we need to trace our past steps and learn from the rich experience of our ancestors. African American culture is an integral part of the American culture as a whole, and if we don’t embrace properly, it will be impossible to understand our nation and the incredible contributions that African Americans have had to science, politics, civil rights, medicine, art, jurisprudence, music, diplomacy, literature, military, sports and education. The study and analysis of African American history and issues, is the key to a multidimensional view of humankind.

In this current time where the controversy of racism covers our justice system, it is essential to comprehend the fact that the way to overcome this hideous belief and vanish it from society is through education. Educating our generation about the history and the struggles of African Americans, not only in our country but around the world too, will provide humanity with the right perspective and the well-deserved respect these citizens merit. Knowledge is the light that will shine through the darkness of racism and violence, and it is our duty as a nation that defends the values of freedom and equality, to make sure our youth recognizes this truth.

African-American and Caribbean cultures, which have a lot of African roots, traditions, and values are crucial to develop the appreciation of how important Africa is as a major player in this age of global interdependence. Making students from public schools think about the many and countless achievements of our African-American community traduces into the empowerment of young people, particularly those who live in neighborhoods with high populations of African-American learners, since they are ones who historically have the less means to get ahead in life. We are talking about providing truth and meaningfulness to their efforts and origins, in order to create well-educated and mature human beings and Americans.

History is filled with lots of white men, but we hardly ever focus in the all the things African-Americans have done for the world. We know about the relevance of Martin Luther King or Malcom X, but do we really have a deep understanding of the things they stood for? Moreover, do we really know and value the role of many other African-Americans in every aspect of our culture? What would be of us without their influence in sciences or sports? Are we really a complete society if we don’t include them? The mission that public schools should undertake nowadays to change this is incredibly difficult and complex to carry on: disarm the current established cultural mindset that rejects the inclusion of African-American legacies and embrace them all equally for the well-being of our country.

Public Schools have the challenge to effectively include these studies in their policies and their syllabi as a mandatory aspect to cover in class. If we really strive for people to create a new world order determined by peace, solidarity and the true understanding of each other, then we should start by creating the right conditions: It’s time to start taking into practice fairness and give the African-American culture its rightful place in history and education; it’s time to build the new foundations of our society based upon new, redefined and improved standards of human rights and the way to begin that change is by letting our youth know that we trust them and we are assuming the defy of doing better things for the world.

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