Opinion: Unpopular Beliefs Shared By Black Celebrities Can Put Black People In An Unfair Position

When Black celebrities like Kanye West and Kyrie Irving make incendiary statements, it often puts Black people in a precarious position around the water cooler or on a media platform. The resounding chorus among many Black people is a denunciation of West and a rebuke of Irving. Yet, in non-Black spaces, Black people must navigate relaying their critiques while not perpetuating anti-Blackness baked within criticisms of West and Irving. And that is not all Black people have to navigate. It sho

The Supreme Court’s Obsession with Whitewashed History

In early November, the U.S. Supreme Court heard an affirmative action case that could decide the fate of this critical policy initiative that spans over fifty years, as did Roe. The court appears ready to rule that the race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina were unlawful, based on more than five hours of vigorous and sometimes testy arguments, a move that would overrule decades of precedents. Upending affirmative action, a legacy of the Civil Rights M

The Power of HBCU Trained Teachers

Previously, I encouraged those in the position of recruiting teachers to recruit teachers from historically Black colleges and universities. I specifically noted that for every Black education major graduating from a non-HBCU, there are 17 Black education majors graduating from HBCUs. But I am aware that such a statistic isn’t necessarily enough to encourage district leaders to specifically target HBCUs to add to their faculty. But a recent study might help bolster my recommendation. A recent

Opinion: Interpreting The Murders Of Young Black Men

No matter the circumstance, it always pains me to hear of another Black man that was the victim of murder, particularly a young Black man like Takeoff. I’m a bit removed from the culture of hip-hop to the extent that I’m unfamiliar with the entirety of the Migos catalog. However, any young man, a rapper no less, who loses his life to violence is simply jarring. But the question always becomes, who is at fault? Of course, there are those who use this as an opportunity to say that Black lives do

Partnering to Retain Teachers of Color

It is one thing to hire teachers of color. It is another thing to retain teachers of color. As a Black educator, I know this truth all too well. I’ve worked places where my expertise and skill set were not valued by my peers or superiors. I was viewed as the Black teacher in the building for disciplinary support and community buy-in. I met conflict in those spaces and was often forced out. This is one example to explain the inability of schools and/or districts to retain teachers of color. But

Onboarding with Teachers of Color in Mind

Schools are institutions of socialization as well as learning. Socialization is a part of learning; the norms and folkways of community and society. Such learning doesn’t only happen for students, but it also happens for the adults who enter schools. Because all schools are different—even those within the same district—teachers must be onboarded and onboarded to ensure their proper transition into their school building as well as district culture. This is all to ensure that they service the stu

Partnering to Change Institutional Hiring Space in Education

I’ve had the distinct privilege to be part of teacher hiring teams in school districts where I have worked. I call such service on hiring teams significant, but it is not always a guarantee that hiring teams are reflective of the diversity of its communities. As an African American educator, I brought a unique perspective to the group—as did my Asian and Latino colleagues who worked with us. My perspective was displayed in the qualities I looked for in a teacher and how my criteria showed up in

Don’t Fake the Funk… Do The Work

Many school building and school district leaders are engaged in the work of recruiting current and prospective teachers of color to their classrooms. How successful those leaders are is up for debate, but based on the current teacher demographics, the argument can be made that over the last 30 years, the success is minimal. The racial demographics of recruiters, as well as those in hiring positions, mirror that of the teachers: mostly white people. For whatever reason, finding teachers and teac

Any Black Teachers Quitting Quietly?

Sure, they could—in theory. Any teacher can quiet quit and there is a contingency that is. I wouldn’t be surprised that within the number, there are Black teachers engaged in the practice. However, practically speaking, they can’t. Because for Black teachers, to quit quietly comes with (unintended) consequences, for themselves, for prospective Black teachers and also the students and families they serve. … and quite honestly, Black teachers that quit quietly are endanger of being fired. White

Opinion: The Egregiousness Of Cheating Does Not Depend On The Beauty Of Others Involved

The first time I was introduced to Nia Long was watching “Boyz N The Hood.” I remember during intimate scenes between her and Cuba Gooding Jr., my uncle saying, “[Cuba] don’t know what he doing with that.” Come to think of it, my uncle said that about Will Smith. Based on that embrace he and Ms. Long had a little bit ago, he wishes he had married “Lisa.” But I digress. But it was “Friday” for me… I completely felt where Cube was coming from… Debbie was fine… I mean I would’a fought Deebo for h

Tips for Adding Black Teachers to Pennsylvania’s Ranks

Any effort by the state of Pennsylvania Department of Education to increase the number of teachers over the next four years must be rooted in hiring teachers of color, particularly Black teachers. There are a number of things that can be done to help hire more Black teachers. The first thing is for districts to stop making excuses for why more Black teachers aren’t in the classroom. Such as no one knowing where to find Black teachers, including prospective Black teachers. Clearly, Black teacher

Opinion: Jay-Z's Comments About Capitalism Attracted Vitriol But What Else Should Black People Expect?

Jay-Z says that “capitalist” is a new slur to bring the Black community down. Of course, some folks are upset about it. But it makes sense that he said what he said. Jay-Z is a billionaire capitalist. On an Aug. 31 Twitter Spaces conversation with DJ Khaled, Lenny S. and Rob Markman, Jay-Z said: “Before it was the American Dream. ‘Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You can make it in America’ – all these lies that America told us our whole life. And then when we start getting it, they try to

Opinion: We’ll Take Your Awards But We Don’t Need Emmys, Oscars And Grammys To Validate Black Art Or Artists

I am not a fan of social structure award shows or mainstream ceremonies. By social structure award shows, I mean the Emmys, Oscars and Grammys specifically. It’s because these shows are orchestrated and sponsored by white people who are either completely unaware of Black culture on display in TV, film and music, or who are aware of our culture on display yet devalue our culture when compared to white TV, film and music performances. Personally, I grew up watching the Black awards shows like So

Opinion: Brett Favre Is The New Head Of The Welfare Fraud Monarchy

In 1976 while running for president, Ronald Reagan told the story of Linda Taylor, “a woman from Chicago,” who wore fur coats while driving a Cadillac. She had 80 names, 30 addresses and 15 phone numbers while making $150,000 a year from government checks, the candidate said, alleging welfare fraud. Linda Taylor was a biracial woman whose race was labeled “white” to protect her white mother from prosecution due to engaging in an interracial relationship that produced Taylor. She did engage in

To Retain Teachers of Color, You Mustn’t Penalize the with the Invisible Tax

Depending on who you ask, there may or may not be a national teaching shortage crisis. What is true however is the exodus of teachers of color from classrooms around the country. What good is it to recruit teachers of color to your schools if they cannot be retained? The answer is that it’s no good to do one if you are unable to do the other. Does that mean to give up on recruiting teachers of color because you cannot retain them as fast as you can recruit them? No. It simply means that you mus

The Necessity of Modifying Onboarding to Include Teachers of Color

The teaching profession can be very exciting. The opportunity to help shape young people to be fruitful and empowered members of society is a fulfilling task. But it is also daunting for that very reason, in addition to the fear of not having the respect and cooperation of students, colleagues and parents. Many teachers wrestle with these emotions, particularly teachers new to the profession or new to a district and/or school. Therefore, it is imperative that when onboarding new teachers to a s

Tightening Your Hiring Process to Attract Candidates of Color

Many people agree the districts across the country need to hire more teachers of color. But without a deep dive into what goes into the hiring process, district leaders cannot make the hiring process a just and equitable one. That starts with living as a district of equity. Prospective teachers of color can gauge the equity of a district and/or school (at least at a surface level) by they communicate on their website. What a district communicates on their website or social media can encourage (

Supporting Teacher of Color Recruitment Efforts with The Help of Diversity In Ed

Research shows that all students benefit from having teachers of color. Those benefits range from academic to relational. Therefore, it is no wonder that district leaders are choosing to recruit more teachers of color to work in their schools. When you consider that teachers of color are less than 20% of teachers (male teachers of color are less than 5% of all teachers), there is a need to recruit more people of color to the teaching profession. Knowing that your school district needs teachers

Why Did A Black Teacher Of The Year Leave The Classroom?

How does a teacher of the year leave the classroom shortly after receiving the honor of being named teacher of the year? Two years ago, Qorsho Hassan became the first Somali American to win Minnesota Teacher of the Year, but now she’s decided to walk away from the classroom. Her reason: burnout. Her joy for the classroom was fading and she dreaded going to work each day. Tim Walz, governor of MN told her that because of Hassan’s example, kids all over the state believe the can do anything.

We Need More Black Teachers. Here’s How to Make That Happen

We Need More Black Teachers. Here’s How to Make That Happen When I was a kid, I didn’t plan on becoming a teacher. In fact, teaching wasn’t considered an option. My plan was to become an attorney. But a funny thing happened during my first year of law school: I realized I didn’t love it enough to commit to it. I left law school and pivoted to graduate school, where I earned my master’s. During my studies there, one of my professors — Gail Brooks, who remains a mentor of mine — said to me, “You’d be great as a teacher. We need more Black men in classrooms.” To quote Charlie Wilson of the famous G.A.P. Band, she “dropped a bomb on me.”
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