We Will Continue To Teach Black History - Even If You Detest It

The dawn of a new school year is filled with excitement, expectation and hope for educators, students and families. However, where is the excitement for Black history in America’s schools? It seems that the expectation of Black history instruction is an absence unless whitewashed and blackfaced. It equates to an atmosphere of hopelessness across the country and Black children will suffer for it. Much of the attention surrounding the war against Black history centers on the rejection of the Col

Rann Miller: Fear Of A Black History - Front Runner New Jersey

Since the Florida Board of Education passed new standards for its African American History curriculum, it hasn’t been received well. In a statement, Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP said, “Our children deserve nothing less than truth, justice and the equity our ancestors shed blood, sweat and tears for.” The Florida Education Association called the new standards a “disservice to Florida students” and a “big step backwards.” Vice President Kamala Harris said of the Florida BOE, “They insu

If Teachers Are So Important To Student Achievement, How Are Your Teachers Being Developed Professionally?

One thing that teachers always desire better from is their school and/or district’s professional development. There’s a lot of recommendations that teachers have concerning how to improve teacher praxis. Administrators do as well. But much of the professional development that happens throughout the year feels more like procedural instructions and compliance measures for teachers. By that, I mean presentations on logistical info, payroll, submitting lesson plans, prep period usage, and etc. The

Racists Are Running To Join School Boards! Anti-Racists Should Join Too!

The murder of George Floyd served as a catalyst for confronting racial injustice and white supremacy in the United States—yielding in a repudiation of the racist regime that was the Trump Administration during the election of 2020. That confrontation was met with a backlash that has taken multiple forms. The first being the insurrection in January of 2021. What followed was a more targeted assault on the multicultural democracy in form of voter restrictions, protest restrictions, and specifical

Florida’s new standards for teaching Black history are part of a long tradition of white supremacy | Opinion

The long war on Black history continues. The state of Florida approved a new set of standards for teaching Black history, and students at the state’s public high schools will now learn that slavery was a benefit to some Black people because it taught them skills. Consider the language from state standard 68.AA.2.3., which examines the duties and trades performed by enslaved Africans, such as farming and blacksmithing. The instruction “includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”

Your Family Celebrated You, So No Diploma For You!

Hafsah Abdul-Rahman is a 2023 graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Girls. Like all schools, the Philadelphia High School for Girls (also known as Girls High), has traditions, norms and rules just like any institution. They exist for the school day and they also exist for graduations. For the 2023 graduates, as with previous graduating classes, rules were said to them concerning audience decorum. The graduates were told to:

The Superintendent Problem

Over the years, I’ve relied on the data complied by the NJ Department of Education to do research and analysis on the realities of Black students and Black educators. Where Black educators are concerned, I’ve found information about teachers, administrators and as of recent, counselors and curriculum supervisors… never any information on superintendents. Of course, what I always found was regarding the data available to me was that Black educators weren’t the majority; white educators were.

If (When) They Ban My Book…

I have the privilege of teaching United States history to Black and Brown high school students. I can remember being a high school student and “learning” American history. The truth that I know today was taught to me then. I learned that truth outside of the K-12 infrastructure. I don’t wish to cast aspersions on my history teachers over the years; all of whom were white. I don’t believe they intentionally withheld truth from my spirit. They themselves were likely unaware of truth. I know this

Yes, Juneteenth ended slavery, but for many Black people, life didn’t change | Opinion

Juneteenth is the true day of independence in the United States, a holiday that was long overdue for national recognition. It is a recognition of the many African peoples who marched from plantations to the military to fight in securing their freedom and that of their kinfolk and skinfolk alike. It is also important that the order decreeing that slaves were free was read in Galveston, Texas. The city that became the center of Juneteenth celebrations was once a major port for trafficking African

Why White Teachers (People) Insist On Using The N-Word

Last month, a white geometry teacher in Missouri was placed on administrative leave for engaging his classroom with a question around use of the N-word; why use is permissible for Black people and not white people. The teacher said the following: “I don’t like the word… It feels like when a Black person is using it towards another Black person…how is it not still a derogatory word? … Is this word, ‘n—–,’ not allowed?” Hearing a white person question this very reality is not foreign to my exper

I was hired to write a Black history curriculum. Here’s what happened next.

Sign up for Chalkbeat Newark’s free twice-weekly newsletter to keep up with the city’s public school system. In 2020, I was approached on LinkedIn about working with an organization to create a Black history and social justice course curriculum for high school students. They sought me out because of my previous commentaries about teaching Black history. I told them I was interested, and they asked me to draft a prospectus for such a course. What I provided was a philosophical overview of what

How Did An Alabama Senator, Tommy Tuberville, Get His Degree?

The first time I heard of Tommy Tuberville, he was the head football coach of the Auburn Tigers. Today, the former football coach is the United States Senator from Alabama. What’s most concerning is that he’s a racist; whether a football coach or senator, him being a racist puts Black lives at risks. Tuberville called descendants of enslaved Africans (Black folk)—specifically those demanding reparation—criminals, saying that “They want reparations because they think the people that do the crim

Memorial Day, Like Most American Holidays, Is Black History

Last month, we celebrated Memorial Day. The day is an opportunity for Americans to honor fallen soldiers who sacrificed their lives, so that the ideals on the founding documents could be perfected by those they fought for. In light of our current political climate, Memorial Day offers another opportunity. That is the opportunity to teach Black history as an essential component of the American story. As Abigail Henry so eloquently asked the question… how are you teaching Black history? If I may

Some Assistance For Howard Stern

I want to help Howard Stern. On his radio show, Stern lamented the lack of attention he received from NBA players at New York Knicks games. He shared: “When I, you know, I have courtside, they put me courtside and the Black players won’t come over and say hello to me, but they go over to Spike Lee… a lot of times when I’m there, I’m next to Tracy Morgan… And he’s sitting there and like, couple of the players will come over. They like give him that bro shake and stuff. And I’m like — these guys

Another Go-Round With The N-Word

Benjamin Franklin once said that in this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes. Over time, there’s more we can add to that list, including the occasional discussion on who’s licensed to use the N-word. Racism, in general, could be added to that list to encompass all things, from the history and use of the N-word to Franklin’s past as an enslaver, but I digress. That occasional discussion has reappeared with the use of the N-word by a white Missouri teacher who was captured saying it by

Opinion: The Flawed Argument Of 'There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch'

As a parent, I get a lot of notices from my children’s school. The school sends letters home, they email me and they call me. It can be a bit much at times and I understand why they do it, but still. One of the more annoying notices is the emails I receive about my negative account balances for lunch purchases. Don’t get me wrong, it’s annoying that my kids would rather spend money at school than eat the food we have at home. As a parent, I am trying to save as much as I can since the price of

Opinion: For All Our 'Progress' As A Country, Teaching Black History Is Too High A Price To Pay

The struggle of Black educators and historians to secure Black history’s place and relevance in K-12 curricula nationwide is not a race but a marathon. Despite numerous states requiring Black history instruction, more states do not mandate such a requirement. Additionally, requiring that Black history is taught is no guarantee that all teachers are competent enough in the subject matter to teach it critically and with care.

Opinion: The Myth Of The Three Meals Exposes The Flawed Psychology Of The Oppressor

As a kid, there were “truths” told to me. I was told that I had to drink milk. I hated milk. Turns out, kids don’t need milk. Experts even say that drinking too much milk can lead to obesity. More disturbing than that was the idea that people needed to eat three meals a day… breakfast, lunch and dinner. I heard this my whole life. Meanwhile, I was never a breakfast person. I usually ate when I was hungry. Turns out that eating three meals a day is a very Eurocentric idea or way of knowing. Wh

Opinion: Trump Is The First To Be Indicted But Others Should Have Come Before

Donald Trump was indicted in the state of New York for falsifying business records to cover up a much larger crime — illegally influencing a presidential campaign and election in his favor. He’s the first president, current or former, to be indicted. That, and his being impeached twice, will assure his place in history. But truthfully, more than half of all presidents should have, at the very least, received indictments. Quite honestly, prisons across the country should be filled with their gh
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