Categories
Education

Learning with a Panther: Using Comic Books to Inspire Minority Students

I oversee education majors looking to teach social studies at middle and high school levels. Recently, one of my black male students asked for tips to make his class more interesting. Most of his seventh grade kids were from low income families and were behind on their reading level. My suggestion was to try comic […]

Categories
Education

The War Inside Education

Abraham Lincoln once quipped: “Teach the children so it won’t be necessary to teach the adults.” I became involved in education in my Georgetown University undergraduate career at two local high schools: Duke Ellington High School and Ballou High School. After graduation, I felt an urge to make a greater impact by taking teaching full […]

Categories
Education

A View From Inside

A few weeks ago, I was at my parents’ house helping them downsize when I came across a pendant that I had to have. I can remember it clearly from when I was little, a large gold circle with a swirly representation of my father’s initials. This was the wardrobe item I hadn’t even known […]

Categories
Education

Needle in the Haystack: The Rise of African Americans

“Get this man out of the classroom. He’s racist and promotes the rising of African Americans.” When I first read this comment on an evaluation for a class I previously taught, I was overcome with feelings of dismay, anxiety, then anger. But, I remembered something that my parents taught me long ago. They told me […]

Categories
Education

A Ladder of One’s Own

By Christina Lewis Halpern and Daniel Rabuzzi Every June, hundreds of thousands of young people proudly accept their degrees at ceremonies attended by tearful, proud family members. How do you like this as a piece of advice for a high schooler? We don’t want you to dream of getting your college degree. I bet you […]

Categories
Awareness Black Power Coming-of-Age Education Personal Essay Self-Care

A Conversation With Truth

I found myself sitting in a confined space, with my knees grasped and pushed my forehead into the tops of my kneecaps. I let my fingers run angrily up and down the sides of my legs as the cadence of my inhale versus my exhale became more staccato in nature. I was burnt out. As […]

Categories
Coming-of-Age Education Empowerment

Journey to Manhood

At the age of 22, fresh out of college and starting my career, I think about how many young African-American men didn’t have the opportunities I have had or didn’t make it as far as I have at this point their lives. I know many young men who dropped out of school, couldn’t afford school, […]

Categories
Education Empowerment Identity Multiracialism Social Justice

Transforming Words into Lived Journeys

“Talk is cheap. It is the way we organize and use our lives every day that tells what we believe in.” -César Chávez As I have traveled on my journey, I learned to recognize that life’s crossroads can lead to conflicts that appear irreconcilable. They can feel like insurmountable barriers to be feared or conquered, […]

Categories
Education Empowerment Responsibility

The Inner Workings of an Educator

I had made it to the proverbial finish line that many black students are preached to read in our communities: I went to college, survived a predominantly white institution, did exceptionally well academically, then graduated with all the pomp and circumstance to make “momma-nem” proud on commencement day. Upon graduation, I had three amazing opportunities […]

Categories
Awareness Black Teens Education Empowerment Volunteering

Empowering a “Lost” Generation to Lead

It’s easy to look at the skinny jean-wearing, incomprehensible music-listening, “on fleek” youth of today and say that they’re a lost generation. The narrative is nothing new—it’s what our parents have said of us, and what our parents’ parents said of them. But recently, it was made very clear to me that our youth are […]